Towards an All-Hazards Approach to Emergency Preparedness and Response: Lessons Learnt from Non-Nuclear Events

Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM)

Co-operation and co-ordination with other international organisations


The field of emergency preparedness and response (EPR) is broad, complex and involves many stakeholders. In this framework, the WPNEM seeks international collaboration on specific emergency matters of interest to NEA member countries in the framework of the NEA Strategic Plan and the CRPPH Mandate. For this, the WPNEM works in close co-operation, as appropriate, with other NEA Standing Technical Committees and NEA divisions, as well as competent bodies within relevant OECD directorates and other international organisations active in the field of emergency preparedness, response and transition to recovery.

The WPNEM seeks good co-operation and co-ordination with other international organisations, and works efficiency by identifying areas of synergetic effort and optimises resources by clarifying roles, responsibilities and relevant activities to avoid duplication. International organisations such as the European Commission (EC), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), World Health Organisation (WHO), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), and NATO are invited to join the WPNEM as observers. In general, representatives from the IAEA, the WHO attend meetings and participate in discussions.

As part of the OECD, the WPNEM is strategically well placed to share information and to foster an integrated all-hazards approach to EPR through co-ordination with relevant OECD bodies, and other relevant organisations. In addition, the WPNEM will continue its long collaboration on nuclear and radiological EPR with the IAEA, the EC and WHO, and will liaise, as appropriate, with the industry and relevant stakeholders.


Inter-Agency Committee on Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies (IACRNE)

In the framework of NEA’s active involvement and efforts to improve nuclear accident emergency planning, preparedness and management at the international level, the NEA is a member of the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies (IACRNE). The committee is the co-ordination mechanism among relevant international intergovernmental organisations to ensure that co-ordinated and consistent arrangements and capabilities for preparedness and response to nuclear and radiological incidents and emergencies are developed and maintained. As a committee member, the NEA is one of the sponsoring organisations of the Joint Radiation Emergency Management Plan (JPLAN) of the IACRNE. The WPNEM Secretariat is the NEA representative in the IACRNE.

The 2017 edition of the JPLAN, in case of a nuclear/radiological accident, notes that the NEA has agreed to accomplish the following tasks:

  • survey and analyse protective and other response actions decided or recommended by the governments other than the government of the ‘accident state’;
  • check for the consistency and complementarity of information available on participating organisations’ public websites;
  • Arrange to provide advice or assistance, upon request, on decontamination
    and waste management.

During the planning phase of an international nuclear emergency exercise, the IACRNE co-ordinates the different objectives of the various international organisations in the United Nations family concerned: the IAEA, Food and Agriculture Organization, UN-OCHA, WHO and WMO. The IAEA serves as secretariat to the IACRNE. The EC and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency also participate in the IACRNE. The objectives of the WPNEM are communicated to the IACRNE by the NEA representative at IACRNE, or through the IACRNE Working Group on Joint International Exercises.

International exercises

The NEA through the WPNEM participates, as appropriate, in the development, planning, preparation and organisation of international nuclear emergency exercises, jointly sponsored by the IAEA, the EC, the WHO, the WMO, the NEA and any other interested international organisations.