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An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) training course being held in Christchurch, New Zealand this week is aimed at helping small Pacific Island States more effectively manage the import, export and transport of radioactive material needed for medical and industrial applications. 

The course is conducted by the IAEA, with funding by the European Union.

On-going education is needed to help better manage transport of radioactive material especially as they are being increasingly used for the treatment and pain management of Cancer.

Radioactive materials are also used regularly for routine medical diagnosis and for industrial applications such as radiography of welds and joints in steel pipelines and pressure vessels and density measurements in civil engineering projects including road construction.

Representatives from countries including Fiji, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Palau will attend the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material course which involves lectures, information sharing, discussions and practical work and is being hosted by ESR (the Institute of Environmental Science and Research).

It is hoped the course will help improve communications and foster a collaborative approach between the Pacific Island States to improve the safe transport of radioactive material intended for medical and industrial applications.

The course runs until Friday (2 May) and will include a visit to Christchurch Hospital.

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