STATEMENT ON THE NTP RADIOCHEMICALS PRODUCTION HALT
Date: 22 November 2017
NTP Radioisotopes made a discovery of procedural deviations related to a set of standard operating protocols. This matter was subsequently reported to the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR). The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), as the nuclear licence holder, has since received notification from the NNR to cease all operations in its active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) production facility at NTP with immediate effect. Importantly, the SAFARI-1 nuclear reactor is operational and has not been compromised. It is currently in use and available for business.
In accordance with the notification NTP has developed a multi-pronged action plan for submission to the NNR. This action plan outlines the steps recommended by NTP to swiftly remedy the situation safely, systemically and completely in order to return to normal operations. As is standard in events such as the above, a thorough investigation is always a part of the process. During this time, the NTP Radioisotopes board has appointed Mr. Thabo Tselane – Group Chief Technology Officer of Necsa a previous board member of NTP, as the interim group Managing Director of NTP. This allows for complete independence in the investigation as well as transparency in the process. Three of the current senior executives have been placed on special leave during this time.
Mr Phumzile Tshelane, Necsa Group Chief Executive Officer said “Necsa continues to hold safety as its primary imperative. It is in light of this that any directive from the NNR to further improve our operating standard procedures is taken seriously. The NNR is mandated to regulate and uphold the highest levels of safety at all times during nuclear operations. Necsa is therefore committed to these standards and will resolve all matters related to this incident as raised by the NNR swiftly”.
NTP continues to be in very capable hands and Necsa is confident that operations will resume as soon as is possible.
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