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Improving Emergency Preparedness and Response in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Participants at the Final Coordination Meeting of project RLA9076 ‘Strengthening of National Capacities for Response to Radiation Emergencies’. (Photo: A. Cortés Carmona/CNSNS)

Effective national, regional and global response arrangements and capabilities are essential to minimise the impacts from nuclear and radiological incidents and emergencies. The IAEA helps strengthen and maintain these capabilities by building Member States capacity for emergency response.

The final coordination meeting of an IAEA technical cooperation (TC) regional project with a specific focus on responses to radiation emergencies was held from 11-15 December in Cancun, México. The meeting, held to review project activities, was attended by 17 representatives of the 18 countries from the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) region participating in the project.

The project, implemented over a four-year period (2014-2017), supported the delivery of a School of Radiation Emergency Management in Brazil in 2015 and another in Mexico in 2017, training more than 60 professionals. Both schools—the first to be offered in LAC—were supported by European Union (EU) contributions to the IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative, and enhanced regional capabilities to respond to radiation emergencies. A new regional strategy for biodosimetry under the Latin American Biodosimetry Network (LBDNET) for use in case of radiological accidents affecting large populations was also developed under the regional project.

Mr. Alejandro Cortés Carmona, Deputy Director General of Mexico’s Comisión Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias (CNSNS) welcomed participants at the meeting, stating that much had been achieved in the area of emergency preparedness and response in the region since the project’s inception. He thanked every single participating Member State and the IAEA for their dedication and team work over the past years and expressed his hope that the region would continue working together in the future.

Eleftheria Pertzinidou, representing the Delegation of the European Union in Mexico, noted “Nuclear safety is a key priority for the EU, and an important part of its external policy”.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Member State representatives pledged their technical support to activities planned under two new regional IAEA projects[1] that began in January 2018.

Project RLA9076 ‘Strengthening of National Capabilities for Response to Radiation Emergencies’ was conducted by the IAEA, with co-funding from the European Union, France and Spain.

 

[1] RLA9084 ‘Strengthening the Regulatory and Radiation Safety Infrastructure’ and RLA9085 ‘Strengthening Regional Capabilities for End Users/Technical Support Organizations on Radiation Protection and Emergency Preparedness and Response in Line with IAEA Requirements’

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Last update: 19 Feb 2018

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