My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Jamaica passes Nuclear Safety and Radiation Act - Why ICENS Slowpoke is being upgraded and How Nuclear Power may mean Cheaper 4G LTE

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Jamaica passes Nuclear Safety and Radiation Act - Why ICENS Slowpoke is being upgraded and How Nuclear Power may mean Cheaper 4G LTE

“It's the first step. We now have a regulation, so if we wish to go to nuclear power we would have to take the other prerequisite steps, but we would have to increase the number of persons that are involved in this industry and increase the regulatory body. The body that we have now is not sufficient to take on nuclear power”

Director General of ICENS (Inter-national Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences), Charles Grant commenting on the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Act

Jamaica, welcome to the Nuclear Age!! You’re welcome and you can play the song Radioactive by Imagine Dragons!


The Senate (Upper House) on Friday July 17 2015 passed a Nuclear Safety and Radiation Act to regulate Nuclear fuel in Jamaica as reported in the article “Senate approves Bill to regulate nuclear technology”, published Tuesday, July 21, 2015, The Jamaica Observer.



The Bill seeks to regulate the activities, practices, apparatuses and facilities involving ionizing radiation and nuclear technology as stated by the Horses' Mouth , the Jamaica Information “Service in the article Senate Approves Bill to Regulate Nuclear Technology”, published July 21, 2015 By Chris Patterson, The Jamaica Information Service.

In order to achieve this, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton has stipulated in the Bill the need to set up a regulatory body called the Hazardous Substances Regulatory Authority. That body will establish operational standards and regulate the use of Nuclear material and Nuclear Energy in Jamaica.

Nuclear Safety and Radiation Act – Protecting Jamaicans from Nuclear Radiation

The Bill will create a Board of Directors to run the Hazardous Substances Regulatory Authority. As a regulator, they've got their work cut out for them:

1.      Prevent radioactive sources from harming the people and the environment
2.      Teach Jamaican about Nuclear Power, Nuclear Material and how to safely handle Radioactive Material
3.      Determine compensation to Jamaican in case of damage caused by ionizing radiation from Radioactive Material
4.      To regulate the use of Nuclear Material i.e. Medical, Mining, Telecoms and Alternative Energy

They must have been under a huge amount of pressure, it had only previously been debated a week prior on Thursday July 9th 2015 in the House of Representatives passed the Nuclear as reported in the article “Nuclear Energy Bill Passed”, published Thursday July 9, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner  and “House Passes Bill to Regulate Nuclear Technology”, published July 9, 2015 By Latonya Linton, The Jamaica Information Service.

So why the haste to pass a Nuclear Bill with so little time to debate it, as pointed out by Opposition Senators Robert Montague and Christopher Tufton as noted in the article “Opposition Relents As Senate Passes Nuclear Bill”, published Saturday July 18, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner?

Possibly because Jamaica might be looking into building a Nuclear Reactor

Jamaica passes Nuclear Safety and Radiation Act - Slowpoke at ICENS can finally get upgraded

According to Opposition Senator Kavan Gayle on Friday July 17th 2015, they needed time to debate the implications to the Jamaican people and workers quote: “The Bill is of a critical nature and it is important to allow us more time to review it as it could be complemented by legislation such as the Occupational, Health and Safety Regulation. To be effective, this legislation will be in need of support, and that can't go unnoticed”.

But Leader of Government Business A.J. Nicholson countered by point out that we basically sitting in the US of A frying pan, quote: :This is the kind of legislation which ... we would wish for more time, but there is a real urgency in getting the Bill passed”.

Indeed, it seems that the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Act also prohibit the building, importing, exporting, and operating of a research reactor and the acquisition or development of nuclear explosives. 

This implies that not only are they complying to the IAEA Convention on Nuclear Safety, but it might also be setting the stage for Nuclear Reactor to be built in Jamaica as suggested by Director General of ICENS (Inter-national Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences), Charles Grant in the article “Great Potential Benefits From Nuclear Bill – Scientist”, published Wednesday July 22, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.



To quote Dr. Charles Grant, this is the first step towards a Nuclear Power Plant: “I would certainly like to see a small nuclear power plant here because I believe it's a very efficient way to produce energy and is quite cost effective. One nuclear plant is more than Jamaica needs; that would power us completely”.

Right now, however, the Director General of ICENS is just springing for an upgrade for Slowpoke, the Research Reactor at ICENS from a HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium) to a LEU (Low Enriched Uranium) as reported back in April 2015 in the article “Jamaica set to convert research reactor to LEU”, published 08 April 2015, World Nuclear  News.

To quote the Director General of ICENS, they are keen on this upgrade, as it'll reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation while extending Slowpoke lifespan and function, quote: “We will be able to extend the life of the reactor, acquire new equipment and other upgrades, and make changes to the building that will improve our efficiency; so the amount of research that we will be able to do will increase for sure”.

Jamaica going for a Nuclear Power Plant - How a Telecom Provider can use Nuclear Power to provide Cheaper 4G LTE

This idea of a Nuclear Reactor was originally floated by Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell for Jamaica to look into the construction of Nuclear Reactors back in March 2011 as reported in my blog article entitled “Phillip Pauwell's Nuclear Power in a Bathtub - SilkWood meets the China Syndrome”.

In fact Nuclear Power Plants are so efficient that once installed, it'll be another fifty (50) years before it needs refuelling.

Unfortunately, Jamaican at the time were not receptive to what was a fairly sound idea, as Nuclear Energy is actually a form of Alternative Energy as noted in my blog article entitled  “Nuclear Power and Net Metering - Paulwell's Energy Sector Liberalization Chess Game”.

Coincidentally in the same month, a massive Earthquake and resulting tsunami struck Japan on Friday March 11 2011, crippling the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Japan Nuclear Reactor Meltdown is the Asian Tiger Chernobyl”. 

Thus the ugly side of Nuclear Energy was on display, instantly turning every Jamaicans mind against Nuclear Energy.  Especially as Japan continued to suffer the results of dealing with the Nuclear fallout from the ruptured Fukushima No. 2 Reactor as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Japan Nuclear Disaster – Implications for Jamaica and the Consumer Electronics World”. 

So will we soon have a RFP (Request for Proposal) for Nuclear Reactor? Or will this result in people being able to import Thermopiles under license to power Cell sites, a pet theory of mine based on some good intelligence from friends in a private Facebook Group.

After all, Jamaica would only need just one Nuclear Reactor to power the entire island for the Next fifty (50) years. Telecom Provides could set up a Nuclear Power Plant to power their facilities, including cell sites via a Net Metering facility and allow them to offer Broadband at drastically lower prices.

More on that theory in another article as Jamaica steps into the Nuclear Age

Here's the link:



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