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International Experts Meet in Vienna To Discuss Improving Communication During a Nuclear Emergency

Press Briefing

The daily briefing to update the press on developments at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, as well as the status of nuclear safety in Japan, 15 March 2011. (Photo: D. Calma, IAEA)

The IAEA is holding a three-day International Experts' Meeting on Enhancing Transparency and Communication Effectiveness in the Event of a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency in Vienna starting on 18 June 2012. Experts will share views and experiences on public communication during major emergencies such as the Fukushima Daiichi, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island accidents, as well as radiological incidents and natural catastrophes.

The meeting is chaired by Claude Birraux, First Vice President of the French Parliamentary Office for the Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Choices. Co-chairs are Alumanda M. Dela Rosa, Director of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, and Gordon White, Vice-President of the Regulatory Affairs Branch at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. More than 180 communication experts and government officials from 63 countries and 13 international organizations will take part.

The participants come from Member States' parliaments, emergency response agencies, nuclear regulatory, safety and technical support organizations, as well as nuclear power plant operators, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the media. The meeting is among measures agreed under the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which was approved by Member States in September 2011 in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

The objective of the meeting is to identify and analyse lessons learned from that accident and discuss best practices for improving the dissemination of information. Participants will consider a number of case studies on how plant operators, governments and regulators - and international organizations such as the IAEA - responded to the challenge of keeping the public informed during a nuclear or radiological emergency.

Background

This International Experts' Meeting is part of the implementation of the IAEA Nuclear Safety Action Plan, which was approved by Member States at the September 2011 General Conference.

The Action Plan, consisting of 12 actions and 39 sub-actions, outlines a programme of work to strengthen global nuclear safety. Activities include enhancing and strengthening IAEA expert peer reviews, developing more robust and effective national regulatory bodies, and strengthening emergency preparedness and response. Swift and effective information dissemination is essential during a nuclear emergency.

-- By Iulia Iliut, Division of Public Information


(Note to Media: We encourage you to republish these stories and kindly request attribution to the IAEA)