Kuwait develops plan to counter possible radioactive pollution accidents

August 31, 2010

Kuwait’s health ministry has developed “an integrated plan” to counter any possible radioactive pollution accidents. The announcement was made days after Iran launched the Bushehr nuclear reactor across the Arabian Gulf from Kuwait.

The plan, worked out in cooperation with the Interior Ministry’s Directorate General of Civil Defense, follows the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) criteria for countries close to nuclear reactors.

Samir Al Asfour, the ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Public Service Affairs, said that it “includes draft emergency measures for each state department to follow in case of nuclear radiation accidents.”

The official said that the IAEA’s nuclear safeguards outline the levels of nuclear radiation and that the health ministry was ready to deal with any radioactive pollution accidents.

A network consisting of 15 fixed and two mobile radiation detection stations has been put in place nationwide to gauge the levels of radiation in the border areas as well as in the residential areas.

“The data received from the stations show that the current level of radiation in Kuwait ranges between 84 and 266 nanosievert (nSv) per hour which means that the average is 130 nSv/h. This level is in line with the normal basis point of Kuwait,” Al Asfour said, quoted by Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

The country’s radiation testing labs have been updated and provided with the latest equipment to detect the levels of radiation in the air, water, soil and food samples, while a simulation programme has been developed to gauge the radioactive air particles that could result from a sudden radioactive pollution accident, he said.

The measures aim to protect Kuwaiti citizens, residents and emergency personnel in the event of a nuclear incident.

According to the official, the health ministry has already provided a strategic reserve of drugs for radiation-related illnesses, including up to 60 million doses of non-radioactive iodine for various radioactive categories.

It is also currently making efforts to provide 18,000 bottles of medicine in syrup form for infants aged under the age of three, he said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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