The International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX) series has supported the NEA membership since 1993 in improving the international aspects of nuclear or radiological accident emergency, preparedness and response. Participants in these INEX exercises 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.
The sixth in the series, INEX-6, will focus on the planning and preparedness for the the long-term recovery phase (existing exposure situation) after a nuclear or radiological accident. This extremely complex and multi-dimensional exercise will serve to identify gaps in policy, preparedness and regulation. It will provide an opportunity for participating countries to test and demonstrate the value of the changes put in place nationally, regionally and internationally following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, as well as to assess the efficiency of the guidance and methods developed in this regard by the ongoing activities of the Committee of Radiological Protection and Public Health (CRPPH), notably the NEA publication ‘Building a Framework for Post-Nuclear Accident Recovery Preparedness’
The NEA have established the Expert Group on the Sixth International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (EGINEX6) to coordinate the planning, delivery and review of the exercise operating under the auspices of the Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM). 11 Member Countries plus invited experts are represented on EGINEX6 and it is hoped that more countries will become involved at the participation stage. To help tackle the complexity of running recovery exercises, a modular approach will be used which tackles key topical issues related to long-term recovery management. This will help deliver the exercise objectives and the overarching aim, which is “to exercise national and international arrangements for the recovery phase of a nuclear or radiological emergency and to identify improvements to enhance national and international preparedness for recovery.” Like previous INEX exercises, the learning captured from the exercise will drive the future programme of work of the WPNEM.
INEX-6 has been provisionally scheduled for September 2023, with completion of the EGINEX6 mandate due in 2024 with the publication and launch of the post-exercise report.
The CRPPH assists NEA member countries in the implementation and enhancement of the system of radiological protection. It contributes to the adoption and the maintenance of high standards of protection for the public, workers and the environment in all activities involving the use of ionising radiations, and particularly, but not limited to the field of nuclear energy.
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.
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.