Serbian Radiation and Nuclear Safety and Security Directorate (SRBATOM), in cooperation with the Institute for Nuclear Sciences Vinca, has organized the second conference “Sustain Nuclear Safety”, but this year in a virtual format.
This year’s conference is dedicated to the latest trends in the two largest fields of implementation of nuclear energy – medicine and energy, as well as to the implementation of modern techniques based on ionizing radiation in studying and preserving cultural heritage.
The conference was opened by Maja Gojkovic, a deputy prime minister of Serbia and the president of the SRBATOM board, Maja Gojkovic, who said that nuclear energy was still one of the cleanest and most economic sources of electrical energy, but that it also carried with it a great fear as a consequence of various accidents.
– The stability of production of electrical energy in nuclear power plants and the maintenance of the high level of security and safety of nuclear facilities during the coronavirus pandemic has shown the reliability and sustainability of the whole system of nuclear energy – Gojkovic stated.
The director of SRBATOM, Sladjan Velinov, says that the directorate has operated without a problem despite the challenging situation caused by the epidemic, enabling the issuing of permits for the import of both the new equipment for Covid hospitals and the equipment for diagnostics and therapy for other diseases, as well as the radiopharmaceutical devices necessary for the diagnostics and therapy of the most difficult diseases.
– Furthermore, SRBATOM, in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, has secured a donation for the equipping of three laboratories in Serbia for a quick detection of coronavirus, and the value of the donated equipment exceeds EUR 250,000 – Velinov said.
In this period of the global pandemic, the Vinca Institute has been operating continuously. The institute’s associates are engaged in the struggle against Covid-19, in various capacities.
– Our associates were active in all three laboratories where the detection of coronavirus through the PCR technology was done – emphasized the director of the Vinca Institute, Snezana Pajovic.
The director of the Institute for Public Health of Serbia “Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut”, Verica Jovanovic said that the epidemiological situation in Serbia, during the pandemic which dates back to late 2019, is assessed as difficult and uncertain at the moment.
She emphasized that the institutions which deal with ionizing radiation also had a great importance in the whole process of monitoring the epidemic.
The participants in the first panel “Medical Applications: Modern Techniques” were Eve-Kulli Kala, the director of the Technical Cooperation department for Europe at the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Dr Danica Grujicic, the director of the Institute for Oncology and Radiology of Serbia and the head of the Department for Stereotactic Neuro-radiosurgery.
At the second panel “Nuclear Energy: A Step Forward”, Zoran Drace, a retired expert from the International Atomic Energy Agency, presented the latest trends in the field of nuclear energy and activities in designing and developing nuclear energy reactors of the 4th generation and small modular reactors.
– The purpose of nuclear energy on a global level is to enable the production of electrical energy and other implementations of reactor technologies through the development of newer, more reliable and secure solutions, thereby securing the protection of people’s health and the environment through the minimization of the generation of radioactive waste and prevention of emergency events – Drace said.
Nuclear energy, he adds, is also developing in the direction of the minimization of nuclear power plants, enabling an easier construction, use and, finally, decommission.
– Achieving the sustainability of the nuclear energy system would secure a long-term, reliable and safe supply of electrical energy – Drace concluded.
The third panel “Radioactivity, Art, Cultural Heritage” was dedicated to the application of sources of ionizing radiation in research, analysis and conservation of artworks and cultural heritage objects. In addition to an overview of the techniques used for the detection of the chemical composition of paints and inks, the age of artworks and their authenticity, the panel presented the results in this field.
The panel featured Velibor Andric of the Vinca Institute (Laboratory for Chemical Dynamics and Permanent Education), Dr Vladan Desnica of the University of Zagreb, Academy of Visual Arts, and Slobodan Masic of the Vinca Institute (Laboratory for Radiation Chemistry and Physics).
The aim of the conference was to bring the latest achievements in the implementation of sources of radiation and nuclear energy closer to the experts and the citizens, to present the current practice in the implementation of ionizing radiation in diagnostics and treatment of various diseases, from COVID-19 to the most difficult ones, but also to teach about the next steps of the development of nuclear energy and the achievements of techniques based on ionizing radiation, which are used to study and preserve the cultural heritage, the Directorate announced.