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Applying Revised Safety Requirements to Strengthen Regional Emergency Preparedness and Response

EPR Professionals from 12 IAEA Member States in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region participated in the workshop.

Nuclear or radiological emergencies impact beyond the actual affected area. Regional harmonisation of Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) arrangements is a vital step in preparing for and responding to emergencies. A harmonised regional response to any emergency can mitigate its consequences and ensure the effectiveness of actions taken to ensure public safety and protection of the environment.

Last week, 15 EPR professionals from 12 IAEA Member States in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region came together to be taught by expert lecturers from Germany, Ireland, Sweden and the USA, as well as staff from the IAEA Incident and Emergency Centre, on revised international standards for EPR and its effectiveness for the regional harmonization of EPR. 

In November 2015, a new Safety Standards Series publication entitled Preparedness and Response for a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency (IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSR Part 7) was published. Jointly sponsored by a record 13 international intergovernmental organizations, the publication strengthened the set of requirements necessary to ensure an adequate level of preparedness and response for a nuclear or radiological emergency, irrespective of its cause.

Workshops like this are organised by the IAEA to raise awareness of the changes contained in the new publication and to assist with their implementation. Participants discussed issues including the impact of the new publication on existing national emergency preparedness and response frameworks, potential challenges in its implementation and identified areas that require further guidance and support to facilitate their implementation.

Participants of the workshop were all EPR professionals and, as such, the week was also an opportunity for them to exchange experiences with national EPR frameworks as a further step towards deepening regional cooperation. "The workshop provides a good opportunity for countries in the region to share national experiences in the area of EPR," said Alejandro Cortés Carmona, Comisión Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias (CNSNS), a participant from Mexico. "This will boost common understanding on the new safety requirements which is essential for enhancing EPR in the region."

Background

IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GSR Part 7 establishes strengthened requirements for various aspects of emergency preparedness and response such as the emergency management system, protection strategies for a nuclear or radiological emergency, resilience of emergency arrangements against a range of hazardous conditions, protection of emergency workers and helpers, termination of an emergency, international assistance and cooperation in case of a transboundary emergency. Similar trainings on the new publication are being held in the coming months.

Last update: 26 Jul 2017

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