Participating countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United States
Participating economy: Chinese Taipei
Participating international organisation: IAEA
Key outcomes: Six areas for improvement were identified as part of INEX-5, including:
Since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, it has been recognised that notification, communication, and identifying and obtaining resources during catastrophic events can be difficult. Also, the need for established protocols, policies and procedures amongst and between country entities is critical for minimising negative impacts. Therefore, it was seen as beneficial to design an exercise which provides a basis for enhancing national and international emergency management arrangements related to those issues through the exchange of exercise outcomes and experiences from participating countries in order to identify good practices and common issues to be addressed.
In particular, at the regional level, it was observed that there is a need for some international harmonisation and co-ordination of protective measures to help to ensure a balanced response. The co-ordination of national responses is an important factor for accidents directly affecting several countries in a region, and for accidents directly affecting only one country.
Particularly since the Fukushima accident, many actions have been taken regarding emergency response and recovery plans at national and international levels. The INEX-5 exercise is an opportunity for participating countries to test and demonstrate the value of changes put in place as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. The INEX-5 exercise has also been designed to test new actions/measures and approaches developed at the regional and international levels to enhance communication and information exchange, and cross-border co-ordination.
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 was held in October 2017 at the NEA in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.
INEX-5 was based on an escalating scenario involving radiation or radiological material that culminates with a natural event creating a catastrophic event with international implications. The start of INEX-5 exercise play began as a potential radiological event that included discussion of notification and communication processes. It then escalated to an actual radiological event and included the notification and communication processes associated with that level of the event. It concluded with a catastrophic event that involved international notification, communication and interactions associated with needs beyond those available within the country. INEX-5 had been designed as a question-driven table-top exercise to be conducted individually by each participating country.
As notification, communication and interfaces related to a catastrophic events exercise, the INEX-5 design specifically excluded the intermediate and late phases, except for appropriate notification and communication activities within the scenario questions, although issues originating during this phase may have been addressed.
The INEX-5 series allowed both individual national and regional exercise playing in each participating country or in a region hosted by one of the participating countries. INEX-5 was a table-top exercise addressing emergency management aspects of notification, communication and interfaces related to catastrophic events involving radiation or radiological materials. The exercise was not a real-time exercise, and it was neither intended nor designed to test any international conventions.
INEX-5 mainly addressed the phases of the EPR highlighted in the chart below.
Based on key objectives from INEX-5, the following specific topical areas, which form the basis of the generic exercise play, have also been established:
The topical areas will be evaluated from both a national and international perspective, and from the core of the exercise and post-exercise evaluation questionnaire.
Six areas for improvement were identified as part of INEX-5, including:
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.