While radiological incidents and emergencies remain rare, they do unfortunately occur, and countries and the international community need to be prepared to efficiently respond to such events. The IAEA Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) exists to offer States with guidance and practical tools for strengthening their nuclear emergency preparedness and response capabilities.
Experts from the IEC provide local, national and regional training in the implementation of these guidance and tools.
Training in emergency preparedness and response is also part of the capacity-building efforts of the IAEA to assist Member States in creating sustainable nuclear safety and security infrastructure.
The IEC also supports national courses. For example, an emergency preparedness and response course was recently held in China, hosted by the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA). Held at the National Nuclear Emergency Response Office (NNERO), the four day event was attended by 30 senior officials from nuclear emergency response organizations in 16 provinces. Topics covered included regulations and standards on preparedness and response for nuclear emergencies, emergency planning and management, consequence assessment and policy-making, personnel training, exercises and compliance with international conventions.
An IEC staff member was invited to lecture at the course on the Emergency Conventions (Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency), the role of the IAEA in preparedness and response, and on practical exercises to be performed.
In addition to receiving guidance, training courses and workshops, Member States have the opportunity to request an Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV) from the IAEA to independently appraise preparedness for a radiation incident or emergency.
The EPREV service has been offered since 1999 and is based on international standards and best practices.