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Incident reporting

In spite of extensive precautions, radiological or nuclear events still can occur that may affect the public, workers or patients. Severe accidents at nuclear power plants are very rare. Nevertheless many other events occur occasionally, often with little or no radiological consequence but having safety or security implications or simply attracting media and public interest.

These events include:

  • incidents at nuclear facilities with little or no off-site radiological consequences
  • events involving radiation sources (used in almost all countries for medicine, industry and research) that are lost, stolen or damaged during use or transport, or are discovered in the public environment, exposing and injuring people
  • more recently, illicit trafficking incidents that may indicate possible intentions to deliberately expose people to radiation

Reporting tools

The IAEA General Conference in (GC(48)/RES/10) requested the Agency “to review its current mechanisms for reporting and sharing information about incidents and emergencies, with a view to streamlining them”. Taken together with the need to strengthen international emergency communications (International Action Plan), the Agency is currently developing a concept of a unified platform for receipt, validation, appropriate dissemination and sharing of information on incidents and emergencies.

The Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) maintains a 24 hour on-call system for rapid initial assessment and, if needed, triggering response operations.

Currently, there are three IAEA systems for near real-time reporting of information on incidents and emergencies: USIE, NEWS and ITDB.

Unified System for Information Exchange in Incidents and Emergencies (USIE)

USIE is a restricted secure web site for contact points nominated by their governments under the Convention on Assistance in Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency and the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident (Emergency Conventions) to exchange information on nuclear accidents or radiological emergencies. This web site is part of the EPR-IEComm arrangements.

Nuclear Event Web-based System (NEWS)

Nuclear Event Web-based System (NEWS) is a web page that provides fast, flexible and authoritative information on the occurrence of nuclear and radiological events (rated using the INES scale) that are of interest to the international community. NEWS covers all significant events at NPPs, research reactors, nuclear fuel cycle facilities, as well as occurrences involving radiation sources and the transport of radioactive material.

NEWS provides for a common place at which national authorities may reach out quickly to the international public community with first-hand information on nuclear and radiological events occurring in their countries and in their nuclear installations. More than 70 officers from national nuclear authorities worldwide are authorized to send reports and updates to the system. Accessible information includes event descriptions, INES ratings and press releases. Transmitted information includes event descriptions, INES ratings and press releases. From 2011, all users can self-register after registering to Nucleus single Sign-On area. After the subscription, users receive reports with information submitted by INES National Officers on events in their countries. More information is available in the NEWS Issue Briefs or at NEWS.

Incident and trafficking database (ITDB) system

This is a restricted system for reporting information about illicit trafficking events, which may be shared confidentially with other ITDB contact points.

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| Last update: Thursday, June 20, 2013.