Enhanced preparedness and response to nuclear accidents

In the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and its effect on the European continent, the EU is seeking to optimise nuclear and radiological preparedness. An EU initiative is developing effective emergency management procedures, methods and tools for such devastating incidents.

The socioeconomic impact of Fukushima was acutely felt as far away as Europe. What is more, commissioned studies identified gaps in the way the EU responded to the nuclear crisis. This has prompted decision makers to reconsider current emergency preparedness and response (EPR) practices.

Against this background, the EU-funded PREPARE project is assessing operational procedures and food safety criteria and enhancing decision-support systems (DSSs). It is also enlisting the help of government, industry and academia to enhance information flows and assessment for similar accidents.

To achieve this, the project is building on the outcomes of NERIS-TP, an EU initiative that established a sustainable EPR platform to improve emergency management by leveraging various actors in emergency and post-accident response.

During the first reporting period, project members evaluated the impact of ongoing releases from a wide range of reactors and identified potential improvements.

A prototype platform was developed for gathering, exchanging and assessing information such as consequences and developments during nuclear and radiological disasters.

Producers, consumers and various other stakeholders in the processing and retail sectors are being consulted on how to improve the overall management of contaminated goods resulting from disasters. Panel discussions are taking place across Europe for this purpose. Experts have been interviewed on issues concerning the relevancy and reliability of information.

A workshop was held to discuss the difficulties encountered in effectively managing nuclear incidents. In 2014, two basic training courses were held targeting those engaged in nuclear and radiological emergencies and post-accident management.

The developed tools and methods will be incorporated into and disseminated in part through the existing European ARGOS and RODOS DSSs for nuclear emergency management.

PREPARE is enhancing EPR for nuclear and radiological emergencies. Relevant stakeholders and the general public will ultimately feel secure and confident knowing that optimised procedures are in place in the event of such an incident.

last modification: 2015-08-13 13:45:38

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