The IAEA (The International Atomic Energy Agency) has hosted its first course on preparedness and response to a nuclear or radiological emergency combined with other emergencies.
Participants — mainly nuclear power plant operators, regulators and first responders — learned about the specific requirements different response professionals need to meet to effectively respond to combined emergencies and their associated challenges.
Combined emergencies increase the challenges emergency responders must manage and during the week-long course, they analysed real case studies including the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which was a nuclear emergency combined with a natural emergency caused by a severe earthquake and tsunami. Combined emergencies became especially relevant and was prioritized by the international community after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident.
Following this pilot course, the IAEA plans to publish an Emergency Preparedness and Response series publication on nuclear or radiological emergencies combined with other incidents or emergencies. The topic of combined emergencies became especially relevant and was prioritized by the international community after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. The IAEA then developed specific guidance that reflects the lessons learned from the accident.
More than 50 experts from 15 countries attended the course at Austria’s Civil Protection School, a national education and training facility for radiation protection where police officers and first responders such as the fire brigade and ambulance services are regularly trained.