The International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX) series has supported NEA member countries since 1993 in improving the international aspects of nuclear or radiological accident emergency, preparedness and response. The sixth INEX edition (INEX-6) will take place from January to March 2024 and will run as a series of modules aimed at addressing long-term recovery challenges associated with health impacts, food safety, remediation and decontamination, and radioactive waste management. The NEA Expert Group on the Sixth International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (EGINEX6) has been co-ordinating the planning, delivery and review of INEX-6 since May 2022. To support the delivery of the exercise, each participating country or territory has established a National Planning Committee (NPC) that is responsible for organising its participation in INEX-6.
To assist the NPCs with their preparations, EGINEX6 held a briefing session on 19 October 2023. This is the second session since May 2023, which provided a detailed guide for the NPCs to prepare and conduct their own exercises, objectives, themes and topics of module exercise scenarios, and a questionnaire to be answered for international comparison and evaluation. Around 120 people from 27 countries, territories and international organisations attended and exchanged questions and answers between the EGINEX6 experts and NPCs.
NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV said:
The INEX exercise series has been a key tool in enhancing international and national preparedness for nuclear or radiological emergencies for the past 30 years and we are keen to keep this going. The move to greater preparedness for long-term recovery is welcome and this exercise provides an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the progress that has been made against the lessons of previous accidents. We note that many countries are at the early stages of developing arrangements for the recovery phase of nuclear and radiological emergencies. However, the positive response we received from countries and territories that have volunteered to participate in this exercise demonstrates the considerable interest in the subject. I am particularly pleased to note that this will be the largest INEX exercise in many years and presents a significant opportunity to identify best practices and share experiences. This will be the first ever exercise focused solely on long-term recovery at the international level. I wish every success to all those involved in the planning and delivery of the exercise and I am looking forward to hearing about the outcomes in 2024.