Good  4 3 2 1 0  Poor

France and IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre Test Assessment and Prognosis Arrangements

A prerequisite to assess the severity of a radiation emergency and to develop a prognosis on how it might develop is data. Together with representatives from the French Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN) and the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) and the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations and International Organizations as observers, the IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) conducted an exercise to test the exchange of such data. On 17 November the IEC and both a Member State’s technical support organization and its competent authority participated in and observed such an exercise for the first time.

After the Fukushima Daiichi accident the IAEA's response role was expanded through the adoption of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. This requested the Agency to provide Member States, international organizations and the general public with timely, clear, factually correct, objective and easily understandable information during a nuclear emergency on its potential consequences, including analysis of the available information, and prognoses of possible scenarios based on evidence, scientific knowledge and the capabilities of Member States. This is essential in building and maintaining public and stakeholder confidence in the actions and decision-making of those who are handling the emergency.

“We are very grateful that our French counterparts gave us the opportunity to test the assessment and prognosis arrangements and to practice the exchange of information to fulfil our mission,” says Elena Buglova, Head of the Incident and Emergency Centre.

“Both the French competent authority and the French technical support organization acknowledge the importance of supporting the Incident and Emergency Centre in the development of the Assessment and Prognosis process,” says Sylvie Supervil, Head of the Emergency Response Division at IRSN.

A win-win situation for all participants

During the exercise, the participants simulated a General Emergency at Chinon Nuclear Power Plant following a loss of coolant accident (LOCA). With the data provided by the IRSN, the IEC response team was able to confirm that the emergency classification and the measures taken were in-line with international safety standards and guidelines. Although lasting for just some hours, all participants agreed on that the comprehensive and detailed technical nature of the exercise made it both challenging and instructive. Aside gathering and analysing data to develop founded assessment and prognosis, the adequacy and the timely provision of this information and aspects of public communications were part of the exercise.

“The involvement of both France’s technical support organization and its competent authority and the detailed scenario they developed made this such a valuable opportunity to test procedures and cooperation,” adds Elena Buglova. This makes exercises like this a win-win situation for all participants and an example for Member States how the assessment and prognosis process can be supported.

| Last update: Thursday, 03 December, 2015.