IAEA representative on visit in Bulgaria

Mr. Jing Zhang, Section Head, Europe Section 1 in the Department of Technical Cooperation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is on visit in Bulgaria from May 15 to 19, 2023. The purpose of the visit is the holding of a Regional Training Course on Verification of Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for New Serological and Molecular Techniques, hosted by the National Diagnostic and Research Veterinary Medical Institute at the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency. The course is organized within the framework of the IAEA’s ZODIAC initiative, aimed at assisting Member States in combating zoonotic diseases and preventing future pandemics. Bulgaria fully supports the ZODIAC initiative, including as a financial donor. To date, Bulgaria’s financial contribution to the initiative amounts to 75,000 euros, of which 65,000 euros have been provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and 10,000 euros by the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (BNRA). During the visit, Mr. Zhang held a meeting with the management of the BNRA, where the progress on the implementation of the project “Implementing an Integrated Approach for Capacity Building at the Nuclear Regulatory Agency” was discussed. During his visit, the IAEA representative will also meet with other Bulgarian beneficiaries of the IAEA Technical Cooperation Program in Sofia and Plovdiv. The aim is to get acquainted with the implementation of existing and the preparation of the planned national projects, as well as with the results and benefits of already implemented ones in the country. Bulgaria has over 45 years of cooperation with IAEA under the Technical Cooperation Program in various areas such as nuclear safety and radiation protection, radioactive waste management, nuclear applications, administrative capacity building, etc. During this period, more than 70 projects were successfully implemented by various organizations in the country, not only in the field of nuclear energy, but also in medicine, health care and agriculture. Bulgaria actively participates in a number of regional and inter-regional projects organized under the Program. The Bulgarian national coordinator of the IAEA Technical Cooperation Program is the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency.