Safer Radioactive Materials Transport
The principles that underpin the IAEA Nuclear Safety Action Plan are fully applicable to transport safety. For instance, regardless whether an emergency involves a radioactive material transport or a nuclear power plant, there is an urgent need to swiftly and effectively communicate the information that emergency responders, stakeholders and the public need to be able to ensure protection and handle the consequences.
In October 2011, the IAEA hosted the "International Conference on the Safe and Secure Transport of Radioactive Material: The Next Fifty Years of Transport - Creating a Safe, Secure and Sustainable Framework". The conference identified the importance of ensuring sufficient, accurate information was available to Member States in a timely manner to allow them to determine an appropriate response. Emergency information distribution was recognised by the Conference as one of the significant issues to take forward, bearing in mind the need to address both safety and security concerns.
Other transport safety issues related to the IAEA Nuclear Safety Action Plan discussed included liability, transparency and the application of the IAEA Safety Standards. Details of the conference can be found here.
-- By James Stewart, Nuclear Safety and Security