Synchronising Nuclear Governance in SADC Member States through Regional Cooperation

SADC member states have adopted different approaches to nuclear energy and radioactive applications. However, all of them need to improve their regulatory frameworks and policies to allow, for example, the safe and secure transportation of nuclear material within and out of the region. SADC may provide a platform for nuclear governance synchronisation by encouraging those of its member states that have advanced nuclear programmes to engage in greater cooperation, while leaving the door open for others to join at a later stage. Initial steps may take place on a pilot basis within Pillar II (Infrastructure development in support of regional integration) of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2020–2030 (RISDP), in concert with both energy- and transport-related objectives. This may also facilitate the implementation of the Africa Mining Vision and contribute to the preparedness of regional radiological emergency responses. This paper gives a brief overview of nuclear resources, legal and regulatory frameworks, and facilities in the 16 SADC states. It also examines existing nuclear regulation mechanisms in SADC, including the SADC Nuclear Regulators Network, RISDP, Information Tracking System and African Association of Competent Authorities.