International Organizations and IAEA Member States Test Emergency Plans
4 May 2005 | The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is coordinating a test of radiological emergency plans through a simulated accident at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant in eastern Romania starting on May 11, 2005. The exercise will be conducted over two days. The exercise is being carried out in co-operation with more than 60 IAEA Member States and seven international organizations in order to test national and international preparedness for a possible nuclear or radiological emergency.
Exercises of the international plan, called the "Joint Radiation Emergency Management Plan", are conducted every few years so that the IAEA, its Member States and international organizations, can test preparedness for working cooperatively to respond effectively to an actual nuclear or radiological emergency or incident. This exercise is focused primarily on testing communication networks and assessing the technical implications.
The IAEA´s Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) and all participating emergency operations centres will be activated as part of the emergency exercise. The IAEA´s Centre receives notifications of emergencies or incidents and then alerts its Member States and relevant international organizations as necessary about their implications. It also coordinates the response to requests for assistance from the affected Member States.
Mr. Tomihiro Taniguchi, Deputy Director General, Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, explained that this exercise will be an opportunity for the IAEA, participating countries and international organizations to gain practical experience in implementing the critical elements of the emergency plans, including communications, coordination of activities and emergency response. He emphasized that this exercise is only a test and that there are no risks or hazards to the public. The Cernavoda nuclear power plant will be testing its own internal emergency plan.
The exercise preparation is being coordinated by the Working Group on Coordinated International Exercises as part of the Inter-Agency Committee for Response to Nuclear Accidents (IACRNA). For this exercise the group comprises of the IAEA, the European Commission (EC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the NATO Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC – observer), Romania and Romania´s neighbouring countries.