IIAEA Regional Training Course on Addressing Insider Threats for Radioactive Material and Associated Facilities

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Mr. John Birir, a staff at the Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology, participated in an IAEA regional training course on ‘Addressing Insider Threats for Radioactive Material and Associated Facilities’ held between 30th July and 3 August 2018 in Nairobi. The training, which was being conducted by experts from USA, DENMARK and the IAEA, brought together participants from Mozambique, Ghana, Angola, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Zambia, and Libya.

This awareness course covered materials and objectives specifically from Nuclear Security Series 8 and 11 Implementing Guides “Preventive and Protective Measures against Insider Threats” and “Security of Radioactive Sources” respectively.  This course familiarized participants with those nuclear security measures that address insider threats, including unauthorized removal of radioactive materials (theft), and sabotage at facilities containing radioactive material. Consisting of lectures and small-group working sessions with exercises, the course introduced the concepts that underlie the evaluation of preventive and protective measures and explain how these should be applied to enhance nuclear security with regard to insider threats. During the small group sessions, the participants applied concepts covered in the lectures as they worked through practical exercise based on a small hypothetical facility for the maintenance, repair, testing and calibration of contamination and radiation monitoring instruments



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As a key stakeholder in the field of radiological and nuclear incidents, the Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology (INST) participated in the regional workshop on radiological incident response plans organized by ENCO under CBRN CoE Project 60: Support the Center of Excellence of Eastern and Central Africa in Nuclear Security.

The workshop took place from 31st July to 3rd August 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya at Best Western Plus Meridan Hotel. Participants underwent guidance from ENCO experts in drafting the Radiological and Nuclear (RN) response plan, CBRN response plan and national all-hazards response plan and are expected to be able to develop a national RN response. Other Kenyan Institution involved in this exercise were the National Intelligence ServiceKenya Defence ForcesKenya Red Cross and Radiation Protection Board.

African countries that belong to the EU CBRN Centre of Excellence (CoE) region of Eastern and Central Africa (ECA), participated workshop. These countries include Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Namibia.

The long-term goal of Project 60 is to strengthen  and harmonize the nuclear regulatory frameworks in the participating countries, to enhance their nuclear safety and security and to support their efforts to fulfil the international safeguards obligations they have assumed under a plethora  of UN and multilateral treaties and conventions, such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, the UN Security Council Resolution 1540.

Seminar: Solar Energy Technology and Applications

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Fredrick making his presentation during the seminar
Fredrick making his presentation during the seminar

Mr Fredrick Kariithi, an MSc. Student at the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology gave a seminar on “Solar Energy Technology and Applications” on Friday 30 June 2017. Mr Fredrick was passing knowledge from an online course he had undertaken through the funding of International Science Program (ISP). Fredrick together with Linda Karea (also a Msc. Student at INST) were trained for a Galileo Master Certificate from the European Energy Centre which is a package consisting of 3 renewable energy courses. Fredrick and Linda undertook the courses: solar photovoltaics, solar water heating and electrics for renewables.

His seminar covered topics ranging from the solar radiation spectrum, solar radiation measurements, current-voltage characteristics, technological development and price trends of photovoltaics, photovoltaic installation, maintenance, safety among many others.

Read entire presentation here….

Seminar on Fraud, Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

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Prof. Peter J. T. Verheijen giving a seminar
Prof. Peter J. T. Verheijen giving a seminar

Prof. Peter J. T. Verheijen gave a seminar on fraud, plagiarism and academic dishonesty at Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology on 14th June 2017.  Here we just give an overview of his talk, but you can download and read the entire presentation here.

In the recent days, there has been a rise in competition in the world of academics as more and more academics institutions are coming up. For the institution to stay afloat, they have to publish hence increased use of the statement “publish or perish.” This in some cases has led to a lack of scientific integrity in authors as they try to stay afloat.  Scientific integrity is important and leads to better science, trust and respect as science is built on the shoulders of others.

Academic dishonesty exists everywhere and much more than we think. It is a creeping phenomenon that starts with seemingly innocent acts until at the end the person or group believes in it.  Commonly encountered malpractices include:

 There are different forms of scientific misconduct involving data fabrication and falsification. These includes:
  • Simply producing data that are not there
  • Removal of outliers from data or smoothing
  • Just picking out an outlier without verification and using it as “proof” of one’s theory
  • Cherry picking or selective reporting
  • P-hacking- generating hypotheses afterwards until something significant is found. Data dredging
  • Deliberate statistical errors: selective sampling, not reporting sample size, leaving out results from control, etc.

Plagiarism is another form of academic dishonesty. It is the use of ideas, concepts, words, or structures without approximately acknowledging the source to benefit in a setting where originality is expected. The right thing to do is always to give citation when using materials from others, and when exact text is used put it between quotes and cite.

Master Thesis Defense: Tollah Stephen

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tollahs_thesis frontpage_7_9_2016

Tollah Stephen, an MSc. Student at the Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology, successfully defended his research thesis titled: “Development of a Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation Analysis (PGNAA) system at the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (INST)” on 9th June 2017.  

Tollah conducted a computational investigation into developing a PGNAA irradiation system for elemental analysis using the Am-Be neutron source stationed at INST. He focused on the parametric study of the variables that influence the design of the PGNAA system through Monte Carlo simulation using the MCNP5 particle transport code.


Read full abstract here……

Master Thesis Defense: Mwaura Anselim Mwangi

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Anselim Mwaura carring out Research in the Labaoratory
Anselim Mwaura carrying out Research in the Laboratory

Anselim Mwaura, an MSc. Student at the Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology successfully defended his thesis titled: “Design and Characterisation of an Electrohydrodynamic Multinozzle Atomizer for Thermal Desalination Processes”  on 4th May 2017.

In his research, Anselim was seeking to verify whether the combination of electrohydrodynamic atomization and multi-effect distillation systems could improve the efficiency of the thermal desalination system.

The multi-nozzle atomiser uses electrohydrodynamic atomization, also known as electrospray, to create mono-sized electrically charged droplets.  Anselim carried out an investigation on whether it provided small sized, monodispersed and broadly dispersed droplets which would eventually improve evaporation ratio of the liquid.

He made a design of a multi-nozzle atomiser, followed by computational modelling to check the process parameters and finally simulating of the complete design and characterising the working conditions of the device.

The sprayed water was analysed using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS) and Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence (TXRF). His work provided vital information of the reactions that occurred during the electrospray process and thus gave insights of the possible implementation of electrospray in desalination hybrid systems.

Part of his work was done under scholarship at NHL University of Applied Sciences, Leeuwarden, Netherlands under the supervision of Professor M. J. Gatari, Professor Jan Marijnissenn and Luewton Agostinho. H

Read full abstract here

Master Thesis Defense: Koech Nehemiah Kipkirui

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Koech Nehemiah Kipkirui during his thesis defense
Koech Nehemiah Kipkirui during his thesis defense

Mr. Koech Nehemiah Kipkirui, an MSc student at the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology successfully defended his Master Thesis, “Analysis Of Heavy Metals, Minerals And Radionuclides In Heavy Sands From Tiva And Mwita Syano Rivers, Kitui County”, on 23rd June 23, 2017. His work focused on characterizing sands from Tiva and Mwita Syano Rivers in Kitui County. He carried out analysis of heavy sands for the presence of mineral sands, radionuclides and heavy metals. Samples were analyzed for:


  1. Mineralogical content using the X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) technique;
  2. Presence of heavy metals using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Diffraction (EDXRF) technique, and
  3. The presence of radionuclides by high-resolution gamma radiation spectrometry using HP Ge detector.