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Large-scale International Exercise Evaluating Response to a Nuclear Emergency Concludes after 36 Hours

2017/25
Vienna Austria

The IAEA and Hungary conducted a two-day exercise from 21 to 22 June involving 82 Member States and 11 international organizations to test the global emergency response to a simulated accident at a nuclear power plant. IAEA Vienna, Austria.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) along with 82 Member States and 10 international organizations concluded a two-day international emergency exercise yesterday that tested responses to a simulated accident at a nuclear power plant in Hungary.

The accident scenario at Paks Nuclear Power Plant simulated a significant release of radioactive materials into the atmosphere. This required States to address matters such as the prompt exchange of information, assessment of the situation, decisions on protective and other response actions including possible medical response, public communication, and the import/export of goods and border crossings.

"It is important to prepare for the worst, even while working to ensure it never happens," said Juan Carlos Lentijo, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security. "Through exercises like this, we can evaluate our readiness in case of a nuclear accident and identify good practices and areas for improvement."

Large-scale exercises of this kind are conducted every three to five years to test arrangements in place for fulfilling obligations under the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency. Based on a national exercise in a Member State, the Level 3 Convention Exercise (ConvEx-3) is the IAEA’s highest level and most complex emergency exercise. It is designed to identify emergency preparedness and response best practices as well as areas for improvement.

This week’s exercise will help the participating organizations to further develop their cooperation with Member States and among themselves during an emergency at the national and international level on the prompt exchange of information; the conduct of assessment and prognosis; the provision of international assistance; and the coordination of public information.

In the coming weeks, the IAEA will compile feedback from participating Member States and international organizations into a report that will identify good practices and areas for further improvement in order to strengthen national and international preparedness to respond to nuclear and radiological emergencies of all kinds.