Delegates of competent authorities are pushing for measures that will further strengthen global emergency preparedness and response framework. The venue was the sixth meeting of representatives of competent authorities identified under the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident of Radiological Emergency.
Some 150 participants from 71 countries and 5 international organizations attended the meeting held at the IAEA in Vienna from 17-20 April 2012.
The meeting is held every two years to share experience and challenges in enhancing emergency preparedness and response systems, lessons identified in exercises and actual radiation events and to discuss the way forward.
"The primary objective of the sixth meeting was to review and evaluate the progress made since previous meeting and to discuss the response to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants at national and international levels," said Rafael Martincic from the IAEA Incident Emergency Centre and Scientific Secretary for the meeting.
"An additional objective was to review the progress in the implementation of the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety," Mr. Martincic added.
During the four-day meeting, representatives of competent authorities reviewed progress made, shared lessons that were identified in the response to the Fukushima accident and discussed measures aimed at improving emergency preparedness and response arrangements.
Conclusions and recommendations made at the meeting's close therefore mirrored meeting discussions. Among others, they encourage attendance at future meetings of the competent authorities of all States; participation of competent authorities in enhancing relevant safety standards; increased participation in international emergency exercises (ConvEx); and improvement of arrangements that operationalize both conventions.
Other recommended measures aim to further enhance areas such as international assistance and information exchange.
"We hope that the lessons that were identified will also be learned and implemented. This will contribute to enhancement of emergency preparedness and response at all levels; national, international as well as within the IAEA," Mr. Martincic said.