The NEA Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM) held its 46th meeting on 3-5 November 2021 to monitor progress amongst its expert groups, share best practices and improvement areas related to national and international emergency planning, response and recovery, explore emerging issues through topical sessions, and take decisions on the future programme of work. The meeting gathered more than 50 delegates from 19 member countries, 3 international organisations and invited delegates from the People’s Republic of China and the United Arab Emirates.
During this meeting WPNEM working group members shared updates on common understanding of dose prognosis. These common understandings are based on the analysis of specific exercises held in 2021. The knowledge gathered on existing real-time platforms operated by member countries was also the subject of discussion.
Delegates also shared updates on emergency preparedness, response and recovery within their country or organisation. This collaborative session included a discussion on how countries are continuing to learn from and adapt their emergency management arrangements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants also highlighted the continuous need to share best practices, notably around environmental monitoring capabilities.
A topical session on the next International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX) took place on the final day of the meeting. INEX exercises are one of the key pillars of the WPNEM and are regarded by the Committee on Radiological Protection and Public Health (CRPPH) as the top priority in the area of nuclear emergency matters. The topical session focussed on the potential objectives, scope and format of the next exercise, which will take place in 2023-2024. The WPNEM will now start the preparation of the scenarios to be used during INEX-6, as well as considering how the exercise will be run and the lessons learnt effectively recorded.