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International Conference on the Development of Preparedness for National and International Emergency Response (EPR2021)

11–15 October 2021, Vienna, Austria

Conference on the Development of Preparedness for National and International Emergency Response 2021

Background

Diligent planning must always include preparedness for the possible occurrence of radiation-related emergencies. This consideration necessitates the implementation of an efficient nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness and response (EPR) system based on effective emergency preparedness, robust arrangements and trained responders.

While the responsibility for developing, maintaining and strengthening nuclear and radiological EPR arrangements rests with the national authorities in Member States, the IAEA, plays the central role in fostering the international EPR framework for nuclear and radiological emergencies. The IAEA develops guidance on EPR that provides Member States with a reference for developing robust EPR arrangements and for sustaining them. This guidance covers all areas of nuclear and radiological EPR. This includes support in understanding and implementing the latest concepts and principles, as outlined in the IAEA Safety Standards; assistance in the design, conduct and evaluation of emergency exercises; and technical support to national and regional capacity-building projects.

In 2005, the IAEA announced the establishment of the Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) to serve as a global focal point for preparedness and response to any nuclear and radiological incident and emergency independent whether it arises from an accident, natural disaster, negligence, nuclear security event or any other cause. The IAEA carries out this work based on the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident (Early Notification Convention) and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency (Assistance Convention). This work is also carried out for the alignment of its EPR activities and the EPR activities in Member States with the IAEA Safety Standards.

The process of learning from the response to emergencies and from exercises prompts significant efforts by Member States and international organizations to maintain the up-to-date international EPR framework and arrangements. This maintenance ensures a high level of operational effectiveness in response. However, there is always a need to continuously strengthen these arrangements and capabilities through the exchange of information, experience and good practices, as well as through the promotion of effective preparedness as a key to an efficient response. The IAEA works to define and promote common approaches in nuclear and radiological EPR so that the response does not differ between countries as this would cause confusion and public mistrust, interfere with recovery operations and possibly lead to severe socio-economic consequences.

Objectives

The purpose of the event is to foster the exchange of information and enhance global awareness on various EPR topics through the discussion of both the progress made at national and international levels and the challenges encountered, by sharing experiences, evaluating current trends, technologies and lessons in EPR and identifying key priorities in further improving readiness for nuclear and radiological incidents and emergencies, regardless whether they arise from an accident, natural disaster, negligence, nuclear security event or any other cause.

The Key Messages for the Conference are:

  • It is vital to maintain preparedness to respond;
  • There is a strong International EPR Framework, which is a foundation for the further development of operational arrangements;
  • The capability to provide a clear, easily understandable answer to the question “Am I safe?” is the centre of gravity for the protection strategy.

List of Topics

The conference will cover the entire spectrum of EPR for various types of nuclear and radiological emergencies, regardless whether these arise from an accident, natural disaster, negligence, nuclear security event or any other cause. The topics in focus include: emergency preparedness, emergency management, protection strategies, communication, public health and medical response, international cooperation and assistance, education and training, and past experiences.

Papers are invited on the following above-mentioned subject areas:

  • Emergency Preparedness: IAEA safety standards, emergency plans and procedures, peer reviews of EPR, EPR for States embarking on a nuclear power programme, EPR and new generation of reactors;
  • Emergency Management: ‘unified command and control system’, ‘all hazards and threats approach’, decision making processes, information management systems and databases, nuclear security–safety interfaces and integration in emergency response, individual exposure assessment (including biodosimetry);
  • Protection Strategies: assessment and prognosis in an emergency, emergency radiation monitoring, modelling systems, protective actions and other response actions, generic and operational criteria, planning areas and distances, protection of emergency workers and helpers, protection of food and agricultural products, termination of a radiation emergency, transition phase and recovery;
  • Communication: notification and information exchange processes at national and international levels, public/media communication (in preparedness, during an emergency and in the post-emergency phase), application of INES;
  • Public Health and Medical Response: public health and ethical considerations of response, medical triage and management of mass casualty event, diagnosis and treatment of radiation injuries, practical aspects of thyroid blocking, psychological impact management, medical surveillance of overexposed individuals and long term follow-up of exposed populations; non-radiological consequences;
  • International Cooperation and Assistance: cooperation among States, inter-agency cooperation, international emergency assistance, international harmonization;
  • Education and Training: training strategies, programmes, exercises and simulation tools, use of virtual reality in training, e‑learning; and
  • Past Experiences: past incidents and emergencies, lessons, trends, impacts on EPR.

Target Audience

The conference is aimed at governmental officials with responsibilities in EPR, experts in EPR as well as in nuclear safety and nuclear security matters, representatives of response and operating organizations, emergency planners and emergency responders, public information officers and others involved in EPR for nuclear and radiological incidents and emergencies regardless whether these arise from an accident, natural disaster, negligence, nuclear security event or any other cause.

Exhibitions

Should circumstances allow, a limited amount of space will be available for commercial vendors’ displays/exhibits during the conference. Interested parties should contact the Scientific Secretariat by sending an email to EPR2021@iaea.org before 31 May 2021.

Key Deadlines and Dates

Key Deadlines and Dates

  • 18 February 2021: Opening of synopsis submission through IAEA-INDICO
  • 1 June 2021: Deadline for submission of synopses together with the Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) and the Participation Form (Form A) through the competent national authority using the InTouch+ Platform
  • 1 June 2021: Deadline for submission of the Grant Application Form (Form C), together with Form A, through the competent national authority using the InTouch+ Platform
  • No deadline: Registration only (no paper submission, no grant request) using Form A through the InTouch+ Platform

Greening

To demonstrate its commitment to sustainability, the IAEA will organize this conference as a 'green meeting' according to the guidelines of the Austrian Ecolabel.

There will be a focus on the areas of paper smart documentation, waste reduction and recycling, and environmentally friendly catering.

Conference app

The IAEA Conferences and Meetings App provides a one-stop access to information on the Conference, exhibitions and scheduled side events. The app also allows users to put together their own personalized schedule of events. Via this app participants will be able to view contributed papers and the latest conference programme, message other participants, and view PowerPoint presentations released after the event. Participants will receive an email inviting them to register for the app approximately one week before the conference.

For iPhone or iPad users, get your free download through the Apple iTunes Store; those with Android devices can visit the Google Play Store.

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