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IAEA Reviews Cuba’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Framework

Havana, Cuba

Experts of the EPREV team discuss the Cuban medical emergency preparedness and response arrangements for nuclear or radiological emergencies with staff of the reference hospital.

An International Atomic Energy Agency team of experts has concluded a 10-day mission to review Cuba’s preparedness and response framework for nuclear and radiological emergencies. The Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV), requested by the Government, was carried out under an IAEA Technical Cooperation project aimed at strengthening the national infrastructure for radiation safety and protection in the Republic of Cuba.

Antonio Ortiz Olmo, of the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN), led the five-person review team, which also included experts from Chile, Portugal and the IAEA.

“The team benefited from the very detailed, comprehensive and helpful self-assessment performed by the Government of Cuba in preparation for the EPREV mission, from the excellent involvement of relevant organizations integrated under a strong civil defence system and from the full availability of documents, personnel and facilities,” Ortiz Olmo said.

The team identified specific good practices that go beyond requirements set in the IAEA safety standards, including:

  • The use of a comprehensive system for methodically analysing actual national and international events, identifying lessons learned and disseminating them to all relevant organizations.
  • The use of a systematic approach for developing integrated and coordinated nuclear and radiological emergency plans before starting operation of a radiological facility.
  • Providing integrated training for nuclear or radiological emergency preparedness and response to customs officers, in close cooperation with the regulatory authorities in safety and security.

The team also highlighted areas where further progress is needed, including:

  • Further development of formal and detailed procedures for emergency response.
  • Revision of the protection strategy in line with the latest IAEA safety standards.
  • Further improvement of the framework for the protection of emergency workers and helpers.

The Government intends to adopt an action plan to address the findings and to host a follow-up EPREV mission in approximately four years.

About EPREV Missions

EPREV missions are one of the peer reviews offered by the IAEA to strengthen nuclear safety in Member States. EPREV missions focus on the arrangements and capabilities to prepare for and respond to nuclear and radiological emergencies. EPREV missions are based on the IAEA safety standards in nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness response.

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