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Latin American and Caribbean Professionals Gain Hands-On Expertise in Emergency Preparedness and Response

24 May 2023
As part of ongoing IAEA efforts to continually strengthen national, regional and international capacities to respond to nuclear and radiological incidents and emergencies, the fourth edition of the School of Radiation Emergency Management (SREM) in the Latin American and the Caribbean region was conducted in Spanish from 31 October - 18 November 2022 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Upon completion of the school, participants are expected to have achieved a thorough understanding of the international framework for nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness and response (EPR), based on the IAEA Safety Standards and guidelines, and be able to facilitate the effective implementation and coordination of sustainable nuclear and radiological emergency management systems in their own countries. Through the School of Radiation Emergency Management, the IAEA builds the capacity of professionals working in the management of nuclear and radiological emergencies and aims to create a team of managers in the region that can react appropriately to an array of complex issues during an emergency. The IAEA technical cooperation programme regularly supports sessions of the school, which constitutes the most comprehensive training activity in EPR that is implemented at the regional level in different languages. This Spanish-language training course was hosted in Brazil by the Institute of Radioprotection and Dosimetry (IRD), an organization which belongs to the National Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN). IRD-CNEN has hosted the course in Brazil on two previous occasions in 2015 and 2019. It presents a novel training concept, as it offers a complete overview of the requirements used to evaluate and improve preparedness systems for radiological emergencies. The content is taught through various theoretical and practical topic modules. The significant elements of an EPR programme are taught through lectures, practical sessions, case studies, drills, tabletop exercises, visits to different facilities and group discussions. Participants included professionals from the national organizations that are responsible and accountable for the management and coordination of preparedness and response arrangements for nuclear and radiological emergencies, such as regulatory and technical bodies and emergency management organizations. The three-week long School of Radiation Emergency Management, taking place as part of an ongoing regional technical cooperation project, brought together professionals from 15 Latin America and the Caribbean countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.  After the training course, participants are expected to go on to share and transfer the knowledge they have acquired and to facilitate the application and effective coordination of EPR programmes in their countries. 

Learn more about the IAEA’s work in the area of EPR: www.iaea.org/topics/emergency-preparedness-and-response-epr 

(All photos: Lilian Bueno, Brazilian Nuclear Energy Commission, Argonauta photo, slide 7: Ligia Morais)

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