Health issues due to a major nuclear accident always includes impairments attributable to both ionising radiation and non-radiological effects. As seen from the Chernobyl and Fukushima experiences, the latter had a significant socio‑economic impact on the affected communities. The recently‑established NEA Expert Group on Non‑radiological Public Health Aspects of Radiation Emergency Planning and Response (EGNR) aims to address these psycho‑socio and societal impacts, develop approaches for their mitigation, and deliver guidance to assist emergency‑management decision makers for their implementation.
The group, which held its kick‑off meeting on 5 November 2019, will provide input to the development of a policy framework that adopts existing WHO guidelines on mental health and psychological support in emergencies to nuclear and radiological emergencies. It will also propose practical solutions/tools for support of the decision making process while planning for and responding to nuclear and radiological emergencies.