NEA Mandates and Structures

Working Party on Nuclear Emergency Matters (WPNEM)

Chair(s): Matthias ZAEHRINGER, Germany
Secretary:  Jacqueline GARNIER-LAPLACE
Vice-Chair(s): Sara DECAIR, United States
Patricia MILLIGAN, United States
Member(s):All NEA member countries
Full participant(s): European Commission
Under the NEA Statute
Observer(s)(International Organisation): International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
By agreement
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
World Health Organization (WHO)
Date of creation:07 September 1993
End of mandate:31 May 2023

Mandate (Document reference):

Mandate (Document extract):

Extracts from document NEA/CRPPH/INEX(2020)1/FINAL




The mission of the WPNEM is to improve nuclear emergency management systems within NEA member countries, and to share its knowledge and experience widely.

In this context, emergency matters refer to all aspects of, preparedness and response for, the "early" and "intermediate" phases of a nuclear/radiological emergency (including accidents and consequence management of malicious acts), with a view to prepare appropriate recovery actions.


Programme of work

The WPNEM develops its programme of work by identifying and analysing areas for improvement in emergency management systems and by reporting and sharing the findings. The programme of work is developed in co-ordination with NEA member countries and other relevant organisations.


Working methods and principles

The WPNEM 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 theories, identify gaps and provide recommended strategies to improve nuclear emergency management worldwide.



The field of emergency preparedness and response (EPR) is broad, complex and involves many stakeholders. In this framework and in view of fulfilling its mandate, the WPNEM will seek international collaboration on specific emergency matters of interest to the NEA member countries in the framework of the NEA Strategic Plan and the CRPPH Mandate. For this, the WPNEM will work in close co-operation, as appropriate, with other NEA Standing Technical Committees and NEA divisions, as well as competent bodies within relevant OECD directorates and other international organisations active in the field of emergency preparedness, response and transition to recovery.


Field of Activity

Since its creation, a key aspect of WPNEM’s efforts has been centred on preparing, conducting and evaluating the International Nuclear Emergency Exercise (INEX) series, which has been organised by the WPNEM since 1993. The experiences and lessons learned from these exercises have provided a substantial base for the development of subsequent strategies and recommendations for improving emergency management systems nationally and internationally. The identification of INEX outcomes has been the major driver of the Programme of Work of the WPNEM. Based on this experience, the fields of activity of the WPNEM would cover subjects of interest, such as:

This Mandate will be used as the basis for the yearly programme of work. It will enter into force from 1 June 2020 and expire on 31 May 2023.