South Africa's Necsa wins global nuclear award


THE South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) has received an award at the World Nuclear Association Symposium in London.

The award recognises the conversion of the Safari-1 nuclear reactor at Pelindaba west of Pretoria to be a leading supplier of medical isotopes.

The nuclear symposium is attended by 600 leaders of the global nuclear industry and includes presentations, exhibitions by suppliers and networking.

A main focus falls on the future of nuclear in a variety of fields.

South Africa’s award, made by the US Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration, acknowledges Necsa’s role in production of MO-99 in Safari-1, making it one of the four largest producers of the isotopes used for diagnostic procedures in the world.

The facility was converted to use low-enriched uranium, and showed South Africa’s commitment to the collective goal of establishing a reliable supply of MO-99 making the world a safer place, the citation read.

Necsa chairperson Dr Kelvin Kemm said he was proud of what South African scientists had achieved technologically in the conversion of Safari-1, which was in line with “international goals to move away from potential nuclear weapons technology”.

He praised chief executive Phumzile Tshelane and his team at Necsa. – Staff Reporter