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New CRP: Effective Use of Dose Projection Tools in the Preparedness and Response to Nuclear and Radiological Emergencies (CRP J15002)

New Coordinated Research Project

Analytical decision support systems are used at different stages of the decision making process in the preparedness and response to a nuclear or radiological emergency. (Photo: IAEA)

Tools that enable radiation doses to be estimated are vital in preparation for and response to nuclear and radiological emergencies. A new IAEA Coordinated Research Project (CRP) will help improve the performance of such dose projection tools and support Member States in using them effectively.

In the preparedness phase, dose projection tools help assess the prospective radiological consequences of an emergency. Such assessments enable authorities to ensure that emergency preparedness and response (EPR) arrangements are commensurate with the hazards and the potential consequences of an emergency. Dose projection tools can, for example, be used to determine the size of the areas in which emergency response actions should be planned. In the response stage, arrangements for the use of analytical tools shall be made in due recognition of the limitations of the tools and in a way that would not reduce the effectiveness of response actions.

“Analytical decision support systems, such as dose projection tools, are used to support decision making for nuclear or radiological emergencies,” said IAEA Emergency Preparedness Officer Phillip Vilar Welter. “However, in some cases, the tools are not optimally integrated into EPR arrangements. This can hinder achieving the main goals of the response, including efforts to minimize radiation-induced health effects, maintain public trust and mitigate non-radiological consequences.”

EPR arrangements need to reflect both the potential and the limitations of analytical decision support systems in order to support successful emergency response efforts. The arrangements need to accommodate for the scarcity, unreliability and uncertainty of information, and the need to respond fast.

CRP Overall Objective

This CRP aims to:

  • Provide scientific evidence and expert judgement on the potentials and limitations of these models, including by comparing results from dose projection tools with real data obtained from past events.
  • Create a better understanding of the tools’ strengths and weaknesses and their causes.
  • Define possible improvements for their use at both the preparedness phase and the response stage for different emergency preparedness categories and events.

Specific Research Objectives:

  • Identify uses, advantages, uncertainties and limitations of dose projection tools in nuclear and radiological EPR, based on their current and past use as well as lessons learned from experience.
  • Perform a benchmark analysis of different dose projection tools against the releases and actual radiological conditions observed in past emergencies.
  • Identify the main factors contributing to the tools’ performance in different types of emergencies and events.
  • Make specific recommendations for the use of dose projection tools to better support their integration in radiation monitoring platforms, such as the IAEA International Radiation Monitoring Information System (IRMIS) or other platforms.
  • Develop recommendations for an improved use of these tools to support emergency planning and management at the preparedness phase and the response stage.

For whom is this CRP intended:

This CRP is intended to bring together research institutes and other interested organizations from all Member States who specialize in the use of dose projection tools to support decision-making in the preparedness and response to nuclear or radiological emergencies.

How to join the CRP:

Proposals must be received no later than 15 November 2019. Please submit your Proposal for Research Contract or Agreement by email to the IAEA’s Research Contracts Administration Section, using the appropriate template on the CRA website.

The first research coordination meeting is planned to be held at the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna, from 20 to 24 January 2020.

For further information related to this CRP, potential applicants should use the contact form on the CRP page.

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