During 22 July – 02 August 2013, exerts of the Chornobyl Center’s International Radioecology Laboratory delivered a training course for the representatives of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Iraq. The course was titled “Assessment of Radioactive Contamination and Effects of Ionizing Radiation in Mice Organisms in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone”.
The program of training course included an informational tour to the Chornobyl exclusion zone; independent location and collection of mouse traps at reference sites and within the Chornobyl exclusion zone, managed by Julia Makliuk, IRL-ChC Trainer; training in and completion of the methods to prepare material samples for the assessments; as well as direct performance of radioactive contamination measurements and analysis of the obtained results.
Photo 1. The group of Iraqi scientists together with Julia Makliuk, IRL-ChC Trainer, during their training in the ChC laboratory premises
Photo 2. Practical work under the training program
The training course was conducted within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding covering scientific and technical cooperation between the Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology and the SSRI “Chornobyl Center for Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste, and Radioecology” and signed on 23 June 2013.
The objective of joint activities under the Memorandum is gaining practical experience in radioecology by Iraqi experts; specifically, in undertaking laboratory procedures, studying and applying methods and procedures to characterize nuclear reactor’s site and structural materials, as well as in radiation safety and uses of field equipment.
Also, Iraqi experts are acquiring knowledge in the area of radiobiology; particularly, in practical application of cytogenetic research methods that are used to assess effects of radiation on human body.
It is noteworthy, that signing the Memorandum is a high point of the long-term cooperation between Iraqi and Ukrainian scientists, which was aimed at sharing the experience with the Iraqi counterpart towards establishment of the Radioanalytical Laboratory in Al Tuwaitha. The collaboration for the Chornobyl Center’s IRL to this end started in 2005 and is still in progress. During this period, 67 Iraqi experts attended 11 training courses; a series of experience-exchange meetings was organized at IRL in Slavutych; 465 samples were measured to include soil, glass fragments and contaminated spots from the Al Tuwaitha site and other objects in Iraq. The issues for establishing the Laboratory in Al Tuwaitha have been also discussed during relevant conferences, workshops, and target meetings.