Response to Nuclear Emergencies Affecting Food and Agriculture

Closed for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code




Approved Date

4 July 2013



Start Date

13 September 2013

Expected End Date

31 March 2019

Completed Date

17 July 2019


This CRP aims to assist Member States to develop and assess systems of innovative data collection, database management and geo-visualization platforms that can be used during both emergency responses as well as for routine monitoring of nuclear and radiological incidents that could affect food and agriculture. Data will be managed in real-time and up-to-date information on the spatial and temporal distributions of radionuclides in the landscape for decision-makers and end-users.


The CRP aims to develop and assess systems of innovative data collection, management and geo-visualization platforms that can be used in both routine monitoring and also for emergency response to nuclear and radiological incidents that could affect food and agriculture. Through this CRP networks of institutions and governments involved in nuclear emergency response in food and agriculture will be strengthened. The CRP will also assist in compiling Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) for actions required in case of a nuclear emergency affecting food and agriculture, as well as sampling analytical SOPs for activity measurements. Further geographical data layers will be compiled for selected case studies.

Specific objectives

To determine how online geo-visualization tools can influence emergency response strategies, approaches to learning from nuclear accidents, and end-users ability to generate future short-term and long-term scenarios about the impact of nuclear accidents on food and agriculture

To ensure that systems use common or standardized protocols that can be shared across different software platforms

To identify sampling and analytical strategies in nuclear emergencies affecting food and agriculture

To produce decision support tools that will help rapid analysis of the situation in radionuclide contamination in food stuffs

To produce low-cost computer-based platforms that are robust and can be used both routinely to monitor every-day sampling as well as in nuclear emergency situations


The CRP can help Member States who are seeking to strengthen response to nuclear emergencies affecting in food and agriculture, as it provides standardized methodologies for sample collection and analysis, a robust IT-tool for data collection, management and visualization, and a publication on the development of IT based decision support tools for nuclear emergency response.

Ten Member States were directly involved in the development and planning of project outputs, and close collaboration was also achieved with the IAEA-IEC (Incident and Emergency Center), the EU JRC (Joint Research Center).

The publications and IT tool ensure all Member States are provided access to the project outputs, while the strong network resulting from this CRP provides a platform where the subject topic experts can continue to provide guidance to Member States.

The CRP is related to the following programme objective of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture: To improve nuclear emergency preparedness and response in food and agriculture, which falls under project (Cooperative arrangements related nuclear and radiological accidents in relation to food safety and control systems) and project (Data collection, management and visualization tools for crisis management).


Presently, there are no internationally established protocols for large-scale food monitoring and analysis, or information systems available that assist Member States in decision-making, at different stakeholder levels, to keep food and agriculture safe during nuclear or radiological emergencies. The targeted protocols or information system can be used by agricultural departments and, as the information system stores data on radioactivity in food which is georeferenced and time-stamped information, helps them map and contain areas where radionuclide levels would be unacceptable.

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