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Assessment and Prognosis during Nuclear Power Plant Emergencies in Focus at New IAEA Workshop

Participants at the Pilot Workshop on Classification, Assessment and Prognosis during Nuclear Power Plant Emergencies. (Photo: M. Otarra/IAEA)

During a nuclear power plant (NPP) emergency, assessing the situation and making a prognosis for its potential development is important for an effective response. To help Member States develop expertise in this challenging task, the IAEA has developed training materials that were tested during a workshop held last week in Vienna.

The workshop tested materials developed to complement the forthcoming IAEA publication titled Classification, Assessment and Prognosis during Nuclear Power Plant Emergencies. The 19 to 23 March 2018 workshop attracted 40 emergency responders from 25 Member States.

The publication, expected this year, and the workshop aim to help States develop capacity to assess an NPP emergency. The resources highlight what information an NPP needs to provide at the national level, and how to present that information to enable authorities to decide on protective actions such as ordering people to evacuate or stay indoors with closed doors and windows.

The publication will be useful for the development of Emergency Action Levels (EALs), which are pre-determined characteristics and parameters used to classify an emergency by the operator as a basis for decisions on protective actions. At the workshop, participants learned how procedures and instructions can be used during emergencies to determine potential damages and technical conditions.

“This workshop was a valuable opportunity to learn about the latest guidance developed by the IAEA on EALs for NPPs,” said Yannick Kerckx, Emergency Preparedness and Response Coordinator, from the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control, Belgium “The publication will be a good technical complement to the new Belgian nuclear and radiological emergency plan.”

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