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IAEA’s Network for Response and Assistance for Nuclear Emergencies Grows Beyond 40 Countries

Vienna, Austria

The IAEA’s Response and Assistance Network (RANET), a group of states offering international assistance to countries responding to nuclear and radiological emergencies, has grown to 41 countries after Italy registered this week.

Through RANET countries offer global support with radiological measurements, medical advice or treatment, and specialized equipment to help to mitigate the consequences of nuclear or radiological emergencies for human health, the environment, and property. Thanks to RANET, Ukraine has received vital equipment and other assistance coordinated by the IAEA to help ensure nuclear safety and security in the country since February 2022.

The network was formally established in 2000. By registering with RANET, countries can fulfil one of their obligations under the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, adopted in 1986 after the Chornobyl nuclear power plant accident.

A country can specify how their national capabilities can be deployed under RANET. In the case of Italy, it has provided a comprehensive set of assistance capabilities that includes support for conducting radiation surveys, searching for lost radioactive sources and performing the assessment and analysis of emergency situations at nuclear power plants.

As the first country to register in 2023, Italy follows other new members, Costa Rica, Lithuania and the Netherlands, who joined in 2022.

“These recent registrations build up RANET’s capabilities both technically and geographically, offering a broad range of immediately deployable support, which is important for ensuring that requesting countries promptly receive the assistance they need,” said Carlos Torres Vidal, Head of IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre, which serves as a focal point for coordinating and facilitating international assistance in the event of a nuclear or radiological emergency. “Hopefully this encourages more registrations, which further strengthens our global response capacities.”

RANET support to Ukraine

Since early 2022, RANET has been utilized to provide technical assistance to Ukraine following their comprehensive request for equipment required to maintain the safe and secure operation of its nuclear facilities and activities involving radioactive sources during the ongoing armed conflict. This specialized equipment included radiation measurement devices, protective equipment, computer-related assistance, power supply systems and communication systems, among other items.

Bringing together committed resources offered by 12 countries with registered capabilities in RANET, 8 deliveries of equipment have already arrived at Ukraine’s various organizations and facilities.

A growing network

“Operational for over 20 years, and now with over 40 members, RANET has grown into a robust framework for assistance, and we have seen how essential it is with the assistance being provided to Ukraine,” said Torres Vidal.

Since its creation in the early 2000s the assistance network has expanded to 41 countries that includes: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.

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