Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM)

The NEA has no statutory operational role in the response to nuclear emergency situations. However, the NEA has for many years been actively involved in efforts to improve the international aspects of nuclear accident emergency planning, preparedness and management through the development, conduct and evaluation of the International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX) series.

The NEA has a long tradition of expertise in the area of nuclear emergency policy, planning, preparedness and management. Through its technical programmes, the NEA offers its member countries unbiased assistance in the nuclear preparedness arena, with a view toward facilitating improvements in nuclear emergency preparedness strategies and nuclear emergency response at the international level, with a particular focus on decision-making, international communication, information exchange and the co-ordination of  response actions between various countries.

The mission of the CRPPH Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM) is to improve nuclear emergency management systems within member countries, and to share its knowledge and experience widely. Within this framework, WPNEM activities focus on identified needs in planning, preparedness and response for the "early" and "intermediate" phases of a nuclear/radiological emergency (including accidents and consequence management for malicious acts), with a view to prepare appropriate recovery actions. The programme of work is developed in co-ordination with member countries and other international organisations.

A view of the emergency management timeline and emergency phases
EM Timeline

Participants are emergency management experts from NEA countries with recognised knowledge, skills and abilities in the nuclear field. The Working Party employs a flexible and general approach to address issues across the entire spectrum of nuclear and radiological emergency management, from preparedness to transition and recovery. Participants share information, data, knowledge and experience to test all aspects of emergency management systems and approaches, identify gaps and provide recommended strategies to improve nuclear emergency management worldwide.

From the beginning, the NEA's focus of work as carried out by the WPNEM has been on improving the effectiveness of international nuclear emergency preparedness and management. Part of its work programme focuses on exploring and developing new concepts and future procedures to enhance national and international preparedness and response management. A key aspect of these efforts has centred on preparing, conducting and evaluating the INEX exercises series, which has been organised by the WPNEM since 1993. The experiences and lessons learnt from these exercises have provided a substantial base for the development of subsequent strategies and recommendations for improving emergency management systems nationally and internationally.

Members' area


WPNM working group page (password protected | reminder)

Last reviewed: 13 November 2017

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