Papua New Guinea's First Dosimetry Lab Almost Ready, Unitech Reports

 The construction of the Papua New Guinea's first Dosimetry Laboratory at the University of Technology (Unitech) is nearly complete, with the project now 95 percent finished, according to Derick Kundi, the project director from Unitech’s project office. Despite missing its initial January deadline, the laboratory is expected to be fully operational within the next few weeks.

Papua New Guinea's First Dosimetry Lab Almost Ready, Unitech Reports [Photo by Martha Deruage/unitech]

The laboratory, a joint venture between the National Institute of Standards and Industrial Technology (Nisit) and Unitech, with a 60-40 ownership split, will be the first of its kind in Papua New Guinea. It is designed to meet the standards of a Secondary Standard Dosimetry Laboratory.

Last month, a team from the Department of National Monitoring and Planning, along with representatives from Nisit, inspected the facility. Kundi reported that the main building is complete and that current work is focused on the exterior facade, including drainage and a car park.

Situated as an extension of Unitech’s applied physics department, the laboratory will enable personal dosimetry measurements for radiation workers and other environmental sample testing. Physics department head David Kolkoma highlighted the significance of the project, noting that it would eliminate the need to send personal dosimeters overseas for analysis, which has previously been necessary.

The K1.32 million project will enhance the calibration of dosimetry equipment used to measure ionizing radiation levels. Matthew Brass, the program officer for commerce, SME, and trade at the Department of National Monitoring and Planning, underscored the broader impact of the facility, stating that cancer is a significant issue in the country due to a lack of facilities and awareness. He expressed hope that the new laboratory would facilitate quicker treatment for cancer patients and improve preventive measures for those exposed to radiation.

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