The Department of Energy has published proposed nuclear non-proliferation regulations in the Government Gazette for comment. The regulations are published in terms of section 54(4) of the Nuclear Energy Act. Written comment is invited until 8 October 2012. South Africa became a signatory to the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in 1991. The treaty is designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and foster peaceful cooperation on nuclear issues between member states.
The regulations set out how records relating to nuclear material are to be kept. The records refer to the possession of, using, handling, or processing of nuclear material. Some of the requirements include an updated nuclear material inventory showing exactly how much nuclear material is present in a facility as well as operating data that is used to indicate changes in the quantity of nuclear material present. All facilities with nuclear material will be expected to provide an initial report to the energy minister within three months of the regulations coming into effect. An annual report of the records will also have to be forwarded to the minister. A full report on any “nuclear event” will also have to be provided. Such an event includes the loss of nuclear material.
The regulations also focus on:
- Measurements on nuclear material and maintaining measuring control programmes;
- Provision of information on design of nuclear installation and site concerned;
- Physical stocktaking of nuclear material;
- Prior notification of importation and exportation of nuclear material and equipment
- Notification on any loss of nuclear material;
- Schedules of planned activities;
- Application for authorisation to acquire nuclear material; and
- Application for authorisation to export nuclear material.
All interested persons and organizations are invited to comment in writing on the proposed Regulations to Director: Nuclear Non-Proliferation. Comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than 12:00 Tuesday, 8 October 2012. Enquiries can be directed to Ms Elsie Monale on tel +27 (0) 12 406 7499 email@example.com or to Ms Mashadi on +27 (0) 12 406 7658.