Preparing for the Sixth International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX-6)

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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. Participants in these 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 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.

In this context, the NEA Expert Group on the Sixth International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (EGINEX6) met in London, United Kingdom, on 18-20 April 2023, to continue the planning for INEX-6, which will focus on the long-term recovery phase of nuclear and radiological emergencies. Operating under the auspices of the Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM), the EGINEX6 is responsible for co-ordinating and overseeing the preparation, delivery and review of the exercise. As part of its role, the EGINEX6 will prepare exercise materials, including the exercise guidance, scenario, injects and evaluation, which will be issued to participating countries to implement.

To support the delivery of the exercise, each participating country has established a National Planning Committee (NPC) that will be responsible for organising its participation in INEX-6. To assist participating countries with preparations for INEX-6, a briefing session for NPCs was held on 4 May 2023. This event provided an introduction to the INEX series, the general planning and preparation required for INEX-6, and the key recovery challenges that will be covered in each of the modules. In all, 27 countries, territories and international organisations have committed to participating in INEX-6. With the growing international interest in preparedness for recovery after nuclear and radiological emergencies, this will be the largest INEX exercise in over 20 years.

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