Participating countries: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States
Participating economy: Chinese Taipei
Participating international organisations: EC, IAEA, WHO, WMO, UNDHA
The enthusiastic reception of the INEX-1 exercises resulted in creation of the Expert Group for Nuclear Emergency Matters in 1993. This expert group organised three workshops as a follow-up to the INEX-1 exercises and together with the 1993 exercises, brought a robust basis for the new series of exercises. The workshops covered the topics of the implementation of short-term countermeasures after a nuclear accident (Stockholm, 1994), agricultural aspects of nuclear and radiological emergency situations (Paris, 1995) and nuclear emergency data management (Zürich, 1995).
The INEX-2 exercise was planned as a series of regional, command-post exercises with the simultaneous real-time participation of many countries – including those from Eastern Europe and Asia – and international organisations. Between 1996 and 1999, four regional exercises all having the same objectives, were carried out based on realistic scenarios at nuclear power plants in Switzerland (November 1996), Finland (April 1997), Hungary (November 1998) and Canada (April 1999).
The INEX-2 series was based on and combined with previously planned regional or bilateral exercises which had their own specific objectives. Based on these regional exercises, the objectives to be tested in the international INEX-2 exercise were then added to the national-level command post exercise. This required some compromises for the international exercises, their objectives and scenarios. The advantage of this approach, however, was that organisation of the main exercise was handled by the host countries so that the NEA could concentrate on the international aspects.
The four exercises involved the nuclear power plants and accident scenarios summarised in the table below. After the completion of these four regional exercises, an INEX-2 summary meeting was held in December 1999 to review the experience to date, and to recommend new areas to be addressed by the NEA's programme of work in the future.
|Nuclear power plant
|Leibstadt (BWR), Switzerland
|Explosion and fire in the turbine building, a pipe-burst in bleed-steam line, release of radioactive steam through broken windows, reactor not affected
|Loviisa (PWR), Finland
|Anticipated transient without scram (ATWS), initiated by power failure due to airplane crash, site emergency declaration
|Paks (PWR), Hungary
|Large primary to secondary circuit leak, activity release through an open safety valve
|Loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA), containment dowsing, possible problem with emergency cooling, time of projected venting
To these general objectives, each participating country and organisation could add its own specific objectives for each exercise. As many participants began to introduce modifications based on experiences and lessons from the first exercises of the series, testing such modifications became important specific objectives for the following exercises. Depending on the location of the respective regional exercise, many countries had the opportunity to play as neighbouring, near and far field countries.
INEX-2 mainly addressed the phases of the EPR highlighted in the chart below.
In summarising the experience and lessons learnt discussed during the INEX-2 exercises, four areas of interest were discussed:
Amongst the most relevant from the INEX-2 exercises:
Moreover, during the early Swiss and Finnish exercises, it became clear that in case of an emergency situation, the selection and transmission of information could be improved to ensure that decisions and public information are based on appropriate and timely knowledge. Therefore, the NEA developed a coherent strategy to
This strategy may be found in the NEA report, Monitoring and Data Management Strategies for Nuclear Emergencies.
Additionally, with the launch of the INEX-1 exercise and the more realistic INEX-2 exercise series, the NEA initiated and established an international nuclear emergency "exercise culture".
In order to test the evolved communication and information technologies, the NEA organised the INEX 2000 exercise hosted in France at the Gravelines nuclear power plant, 22-23 May 2001. This international nuclear emergency exercise was similar to the four INEX-2 exercises as a command-post real-time notification and communication exercise, dealing with the first hours of a nuclear emergency. In addition to the new communication aspects, the exercise included for the first time an additional objective testing compensation and third party liability issues after a nuclear accident. These aspects were developed in detail in a separate workshop on Indemnification of Damage in the Event of a Nuclear Accident, on 26-28 November 2001. INEX 2000 is therefore seen as a bridging exercise between the INEX-2 series and the next generation of international nuclear emergency exercises at the Nuclear Energy Agency, focusing on decision making mechanisms in later phases of a nuclear emergency.
The first INEX exercise was held in 1993 to address the international community need to improve the quality and the co-ordination of emergency response systems on a regional scale, in particular in the case where countries have borders in common, and to help in seeking consensus on approaches to the management of nuclear emergencies between countries which are not necessary linked to each other with a common border or by being situated in the same region. Since the nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, many countries had intensified their efforts in emergency planning and preparedness for nuclear accidents in the beginning of 1990s.
Despite the significant advances made in early phase emergency management as a result of INEX series, longer-term consequence management has remained a difficult challenge for emergency managers. In order to address the desire of NEA member countries to better prepare for the later phase response to a nuclear or radiological emergency, the NEA began development of the INEX-3 consequence management exercises. In order to assist in the development and organisation of the INEX-3 exercise series based on this general guidance, the WPNEM created in 2003 the INEX-3 Preparation Group.
The INEX-4 exercise was designed to allow participants to investigate the national and, in some cases, international arrangements for responding to widespread radiological contamination of the urban environment from a radiological dispersal devise (or a dirty bomb), and the consequence management issues likely to be raised in the medium to longer term after such an event.
The INEX-5 exercises series were developed in 2013-2014 and were conducted between September 2015 and June 2016. The preliminary analysis of the INEX-5 evaluation questionnaires, as well as details of national exercise conduction, were presented to the WPNEM and the INEX-5 national co-ordinators during a topical session on 24-25 January 2017. The NEA's post-INEX-5 international evaluation workshop will be held in October 2017 at the NEA in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.
The NEA Committee on Radiological Protection and Public Health (CRPPH), through various sub-groups, has focused on improving the effectiveness of international nuclear emergency preparedness and management. Part of its work programme is set on exploring and developing new concepts and future procedures to enhance national and international preparedness and response management. A central approach to this has been the preparation and conduct of the International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX) series.