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IAEA School of Radiation Emergency Management

29 January 2019
Managing radiation emergencies requires skilled professionals. The IAEA offers a School of Radiation Emergency Management to help Member States develop the needed expertise. The intensive two-to-three-week course strengthens participants’ ability to develop and manage sustainable emergency preparedness and response (EPR) programmes. 
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Photo: Almira Geosev/ Austrian Federal Ministry of InteriorThe School comprises lectures, training sessions, practical exercises and field visits. Here, lecturer Marjan Tkavc, from Slovenia, teaches students how to analyse an emergency and its response at the School held in College Station, Texas, USA, in which 22 participants from eight Caribbean countries took part. 
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Photo: Texas A&M University“Through lectures and discussions, participants gain comprehensive knowledge of radiation emergency management,” said Professor Edward Waller, from University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada, who has lectured at the School since 2016. “Students engage in practical demonstrations and exercises to put this knowledge into practice, whilst also building their communication and teamwork skills.”
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Photo: Texas A&M UniversityHost Member States showcase their facilities and practices to students during technical visits.  During the School held in Tulln an der Donau, Austria, in October 2018, the 21 participants from 15 European countries visited the Regional Dispatch and Warning Centre in Lower Austria.
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Photo: Almira Geosev/ Austrian Federal Ministry of InteriorWhen the School is held in Austria, participants also visit the IAEA Incident and Emergency Centre to learn about how the IAEA works to help its Member States in emergency preparedness and response. Here, Florian Baciu, IAEA Response System Coordinator, briefs students in October 2018. 
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Photo: Meriam Otarra/ IAEAIn November 2018, a School was hosted by the Moroccan Agency for Nuclear and Radiological Safety and Security with close to 40 participants from 23 African Member States. During a visit to the National Emergency Operations Centre in Rabat, experts briefed the participants about the equipment used for responses to nuclear or radiological emergencies. Later, the School participants used similar equipment during field exercises.
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Photo: Almira Geosev/ Austrian Federal Ministry of InteriorSchool participants’ feedback shows that the field exercises are key to learning. At the School held in Tulln an der Donau, Austria, in October 2018, participants practised radiation monitoring techniques and the use of radiation detection equipment. 
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Photo: Almira Geosev/ Austrian Federal Ministry of InteriorSome scenarios are better practiced virtually. The IAEA has developed virtual reality emergency scenarios in which participants practice emergency response actions. Here, an Austrian Red Cross representative practises how to respond to a traffic accident involving radioactive materials.
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Photo: Almira Geosev/ Austrian Federal Ministry of InteriorIn tabletop exercises, School participants work together to handle radiological scenarios that involve transport, lost sources, damaged sources and more. 
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Photo: Almira Geosev/ Austrian Federal Ministry of InteriorSchool participants learn about protective suits, respirators and other equipment that are used to protect responders from contamination. 
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Photo: IAEA/Jordan ArnswaldLecturers Almira Geosev, from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Interior’s Civil Protection School, and Edward Waller, from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada, demonstrate how to use personal protective equipment to prevent possible contamination.
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Photo: Raul dos SantosParticipants at the School held in Texas visited the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s Disaster City, which is designed to simulate an array of post-emergency scenarios for dynamic response training exercises. 
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Photo: Almira Geosev/ Austrian Federal Ministry of InteriorAt the end of the Schools, participants develop and exercise emergency scenarios. 

“I found that working with other participants from different countries has been especially beneficial,” said Alvery Hanna from the National Emergency Medical Services, Public Health Hospitals Authority of the Bahamas. “Sharing our experiences and picking out the best practices will allow us to enhance our own national arrangements”. 
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Photo: Texas A&M UniversityAlmira Geosev summarised her experiences at the School: “I have lectured at five of the Schools that the IAEA has held since 2015. It is always exciting to get to the end of the School and witness the participants complete their final assignment where they elaborate national draft action plans for emergency management. The participants really are bringing home and sharing the knowledge they have gained”. 
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Photo: Almira Geosev/ Austrian Federal Ministry of InteriorSince its pilot launch in 2015, the IAEA School of Radiation Emergency Management has been held 11 times in 8 countries with over 400 participants.

Member States seeking information on the School can contact the IAEA Incident and Emergency Centre at iec-information@iaea.org. 
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Photo: National Institute of Radiological Sciences, National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, Japan

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