UN atomic energy agency to assist Panama in wake of radiological accident

25 May 2001

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today announced that it will send a team of experts to Panama to help deal with the aftermath of a recent radiological accident in the country.

According to the IAEA, the Government of Panama reported on 22 May that 28 patients had been affected by the accident, which took place at the country's National Oncology Institute.

The six-member expert mission, which leaves for Panama on Saturday, will help ensure that the radiation source involved in the accident is in a safe and secure condition. Experts will also be evaluating the doses incurred by the affected patients, including through an analysis of treatment records and physical measurements. They will conduct a medical evaluation of the affected patients' prognosis and treatment. In addition, the team will identify ways in which the IAEA might help to minimize the consequences of the accident.

The team includes senior experts in radiology, radiotherapy, radiopathology, radiation dosimetry and radiation protection from France, the United States, Japan and the IAEA itself.

The Government had requested the Agency's assistance under the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, to which Panama is a party.


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