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New IAEA Safety Standards Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Response holds its first meeting in Vienna

The first meeting of the new Emergency Preparedness and Response Standards Committee (EPReSC), under the IAEA’s Commission on Safety Standards (CSS), was held this week in Vienna from 30 November to 2 December. The committee will make recommendations on the emergency preparedness and response (EPR) aspects of the IAEA’s programme for the development, review and revision of safety standards and on the activities to support the use and application of these standards. EPReSC, established in June 2015, brings the total number of IAEA Safety Standards Committees to five.

“The creation of the EPReSC reflects the importance that we give to the cross cutting nature of emergency preparedness and response,” said Mr Juan Carlos Lentijo, Deputy Director General, Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security of the IAEA. Members of EPReSC are senior experts in the area of nuclear or radiological emergency preparedness and response. They formally represent IAEA Member States and international organizations who maintain an interest in EPR. With the establishment of EPReSC, the effective integration of emergency preparedness and response consideration in IAEA safety standards and security guidance documents has been significantly enhanced.

56 Member States and 11 international organizations have nominated a total of over 105 representatives, including attending members, alternates and observers. “This is a clear reflection of the importance that the Member States afford to emergency preparedness and response,” noted Lentijo.

At its first meeting, EPReSC members reviewed the processes for developing and approving IAEA safety standards, discussed the on-going work within other safety standards committees and adopted a strategic work plan for the work ahead.

Ms Ann Heinrich from the USA has been appointed as Chair of EPReSC. In her introductory remarks to the members she noted “the fact that this standards committee is newly created is a culmination of a significant effort from many of you. It represents an investment of time, discussions, thought and effort by leaders in emergency preparedness and response, experts in other areas that contribute to nuclear safety and security, and by the IAEA who wanted to ensure that this subject area is addressed thoroughly and consistently across all safety standards.”

IAEA Safety Standards Committees:

The IAEA safety standards are developed by means of an open and transparent process for gathering, synthesizing and integrating the knowledge and experience gained from the actual use of nuclear energy technologies and from the application of the safety standards, including knowledge of emerging trends and issues of regulatory importance.

The preparation and review of the safety standards involves the IAEA Secretariat and five safety standards committees, for emergency preparedness and response (EPReSC) (as of 2016), nuclear safety (NUSSC), radiation safety (RASSC), the safety of radioactive waste (WASSC) and the safe transport of radioactive material (TRANSSC), and a Commission on Safety Standards (CSS) which oversees the IAEA safety standards programme.

| Last update: Thursday, 03 December, 2015.