European Platform on preparedness for nuclear and radiological emergency response and recovery
The mission of the NERIS Platform is to establish a forum for dialogue and methodological development between all European organisations and associations taking part in decision making of protective actions in nuclear and radiological emergencies and recovery in Europe.
In the unlikely but not impossible case of a future nuclear accident, what should be done – or not - to improve the health surveillance and living conditions of affected populations without generating collateral damage or unnecessary anxiety? This is what the EC-funded project SHAMISEN has tried to address over the last 18 months with an analysis of lessons learned from Chernobyl and Fukushima. The result is a document with 28 recommendations to improve the preparedness and response to a radiation accident, including for each recommendation a ‘why’ (based on lessons learned) a ‘how’, and a ‘who’ (those responsible of implementing the recommendation).
The document highlights the importance of planning the response “in times of peace” and includes recommendations to improve training of professionals, establish disease registries to know whether these diseases increase after the accident, and establish evacuation protocols and routes if necessary. Recommendations ‘during’ the response include providing timely and reliable information on the accident situation and associated risks, and ensuring collection of radiation dose data. For the ‘after’, the main recommendations include establishing a dialogue between experts and affected communities with the help of local facilitators, and providing support to populations that wish to make their own dose measurements so they can take informed decisions (e.g. what food they eat or if and when they return to their homes). Recommendations also include providing health screening of populations on a voluntary basis and with adequate counselling to avoid unnecessary anxiety, and launching long-term public health studies only when informative and sustainable over time. All recommendations were developed taking into consideration the cross-cutting issue of ethics and the involvement of local stakeholders, including the population.
The 13th issue of the NERIS Newsletter is now available. This edition is dedicated to the new european research projects CONFIDENCE & TERRITORIES as well as the final SHAMISEN Workshop, held in Paris last March.
Emergency exposure situations can arise as a result of a nuclear accident, a malicious or terrorist act, or any other unexpected radiological event. It requires a quick response and sustainable countermeasures and remedial actions in order to avoid or reduce adverse short-term and long-term consequences. Radiation exposures can be received by the public, first responders, workers and volunteers engaged in the post-accident recovery.
The ICRP recommendations and European Basic Safety Standards – the bases for national regulations - re-emphasize the principle of optimisation (ALARA) as applying to emergency exposure situations. For the purpose of radiological protection, reference levels for emergency exposure situations should be set. More importantly, it is necessary to establish emergency plans based on an optimum protection strategy, resulting in more good than harm for the exposed people and the affected territories. In that perspective, lessons learnt from the Fukushima accident are of utmost importance.
The objectives of the workshop are:
To show, in particular from the experience of Fukushima accident, the challenges posed by the optimisation of exposures in emergency and post-accident situations;
To review the national arrangements for assessing, monitoring and mitigating the radiological consequences of an emergency, especially with regard to applying the ALARA principle to public and occupational exposures;
To review the arrangements for managing emergency doses to workers;
To review the arrangements for providing ALARA-based training for the different types of stakeholders who would be engaged in the emergency response and long-term recovery actions.
The workshop will consist of presentations (oral and posters) intended to highlight the main issues, and a significant part of the program will be devoted to discussions within working groups. From these discussions, participants will be expected to produce recommendations on ALARA in emergency exposure situations, which are addressed to relevant local, national and international stakeholders.
The outcomes of the PREPARE European project have been published in a supplemental issue (Vol. 51, HS2) of the Radioprotection revue: Innovative integrated tools and platforms for radiological emergency preparedness and post-accident response in Europe. Key results of the PREPARE European research project.
Editors: Tatiana Duranova, Wolfgang Raskob and Thierry Schneider
You will find the Table of contents and all articles on this page.