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In December 2020, WINS organised its first Virtual Roundtable on Strengthening the Coordination of International Programmes and Organisations involved in the Adoption of Alternative Technologies to Radioactive Sources in Support of Radiological Security (for further details see: https://wins.org/event/7804/virtual-roundtable-on-strengthening-the-coordination-of-international-programmes-involved-in-the-adoption-of-alternative-technologies).
The main objective of the roundtable was to bring together influential international organisations and individual experts involved in the development, procurement, commissioning and disposal of radiation-generating equipment (isotopic or non-isotopic) to review ongoing activities and better understand the missions of various international programmes and organisations. Another objective of the roundtable was to demonstrate the diversity of stakeholders involved and how decision makers amongst them can influence which equipment or which technology will actually be used. It was finally an opportunity for participating organisations and experts to better know each other and identify gaps and opportunities for enhancing their respective coordination and contributions.
This roundtable was the first step of a set of activities to be conducted by WINS to support the strengthening of the coordination of various national and international stakeholders involved in the adoption or development of alternative technologies.
The roundtable discussions demonstrated that on-going efforts to support the adoption of non-isotopic alternative technologies are not yet fully coordinated with other international programmes and that some overlap, duplication of efforts, or conflicting priorities exist. It was reported that in some cases sponsors were funding the replacement of radioactive sources and associated devices with an alternative technology while others were still funding the purchase of a new, similar source-based device. In addition, while some IAEA activities clearly encourage the adoption of alternative technologies, the Agency still provides high activity sources for medical or industrial applications through its Technical Cooperation programme to its Member States requesting such support, as long as they meet the required safety standards.
Building on the discussions and key findings of the December roundtable, WINS has developed a plan of action for focussing and structuring its activities in the area of alternative technologies to radioactive sources. This Action Plan is designed around the following four main activities:
In view of the above, in support of the on-going efforts to strengthen the coordination of international stakeholders and as part of its Action Plan implementation, WINS has decided to invite interested parties to further discuss the priority themes identified during the December roundtable through quarterly roundtables. The next Virtual Roundtable will be organised on 27 April 2021 from 15:00 to 18:30 CEST.
Transitioning from Cobalt to IMRT - The Guatemala experience (Hiram Gay, Washington University in Saint Louis, US)
The use of HASS and alternative technologies in the medical sector (Debbie van der Merwe, IAEA NAHU)
Defining the challenges from the grass-roots perspective and delivering innovative Linac-based RT solutions (Taofeeq Ige, National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria and Manjit Dosanjh, CERN/ University of Oxford)
Mapping out international stakeholders (Jennifer Hart, PNNL, US)
The purpose of the April 2021 Roundtable is to provide an opportunity to continue the discussions initiated in December 2020, with a particular focus on the applications of radiation technologies in the medical sector (blood irradiation, cancer therapy, etc.).
The discussions will review the use of isotopic and non-isotopic radiation-generating equipment in the medical sector and will help to refine the understanding of the remaining challenges of switching to non-isotopic technologies.
WINS will also report on the progress made in mapping international stakeholders involved in the adoption and development of alternative technologies.
The Roundtable discussions and its key findings will be used to identify next steps, and to update WINS Action Plan, especially in support of the Ad Hoc WG meeting scheduled for June 2021.
The use of isotopic and non-isotopic radiation-generating equipment in the medical sector: Trends and forecast
Challenges of switching to non-isotopic technologies in the medical sector
Role of International programmes and the need for coordination
The roundtable will be open to the attendees of the December 2020 Roundtable and to further selected representatives from: