• IFRC Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Guidelines

IFRC Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Guidelines

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) developed “Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Guidelines - Preparedness, Response and Recovery” (IFRC Guidelines) in October 2015. The IFRC Guidelines were developed to help RCRC Societies and their countries in making their plans for nuclear emergency preparedness. The IFRC Guidelines refer to the guiding principles and policies on the IFRC Guidelines, the roles of governments, the Red Cross and related organizations in the event of a nuclear emergency and what should be done in each phase of Preparedness, Response and Recovery. The guidelines include the content as below.

Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Guidelines - Preparedness, Response and Recovery - [PDF] (All pages)

The outlines and files of each chapter are as follows:

Acknowledgements・Foreword・Acronyms [PDF]
These sections include Foreword by the Secretary General of the IFRC and a list of acronyms, etc.

Chapter 1. IFRC programme on Nuclear and Radiological Emergencies [PDF]
The IFRC Guidelines were developed after the adoption of a resolution at the IFRC General Assembly in 2011, the same year of the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The resolution urged the national and international components of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to take on a greater role in preparedness and response for radiological and nuclear emergencies. The purpose of the IFRC Guidelines is to support the RCRC Societies in preparing measures to help people affected by nuclear and radiological emergencies and response plans. The IFRC Guidelines also include information necessary to prepare such measures and plans.

Chapter 2. Guiding Principles and policies [PDF]
The IFRC Guidelines provide guidance for dealing with nuclear and radiological effects. Preparedness for nuclear and radiological emergencies should not be independently handled but should be part of the each RCRC Society’s preparedness for large-scale disasters. This chapter describes the basic principles to be taken into consideration in developing CBRN emergency preparedness plans and also legal challenges in responding to nuclear emergencies.

Chapter 3. Basic nuclear and radiological concepts [PDF]
This chapter contains basic knowledge about nuclear power and radiation including areas and fields where nuclear technologies are utilized and what nuclear emergencies are. Effects from radiation exposure and radioactive contamination are also described.

Chapter 4. Roles and responsibilities [PDF]
This chapter explains the roles of governments, RCRC societies, the IFRC and the ICRC in the event of a nuclear and radiological emergency. While governments are ultimately responsible for the health, welfare and safety of the public, RCRC Societies should focus on responding to the humanitarian consequences of nuclear and radiological accidents as auxiliaries to governments.

Chapter 5. Preparedness [PDF]
This chapter describes preparedness for nuclear emergencies. Nuclear preparedness should be regarded as part of an all-hazard approach in which natural and other disasters are included. Based on this concept, additional response and recovery support unique to nuclear disasters as well as measures to prevent and reduce damage need to be prepared. For nuclear and radiological preparedness, the training of staff and volunteers in addition to preparations of relief supplies and equipment should be taken into consideration.

Chapter 6. Response [PDF]
This chapter explains details of response in the event of a nuclear emergency. It is important to understand the characteristics of each community, including potential vulnerabilities and local capabilities, etc. on a daily basis. The Red Cross should be a visible presence immediately following an accident. RCRC Societies should prepare plans to provide necessary support for affected populations according to their needs while taking into account risks for their staff and volunteers through disaster risk assessment.

Chapter 7. Recovery [PDF]
Recovery assistance activities support recovering local communities. The activities begin to provide assistance for affected populations during the response phase and continue for a long period even after the response phase is over. Recovery programs aim to reconstruct the survivors’ lifestyle patterns to those before the emergency occurred. The programs are also aimed at protecting and reconstructing their livelihoods. The programs need to take into consideration complex factors such as damage spreading to other areas, prolongation of effects and evacuation in addition to concerns about health problems.

Chapter 8. Staff and volunteer deployment and safety [PDF]
This chapter explains deployment of RCRC staff and volunteers while ensuring their safety. The staff and volunteers do not engage in their activities in hot or red zones, which are highly contaminated areas, but provide services for people who have evacuated from these zones. RCRC Societies need to carefully examine health standards in advance to prepare for nuclear emergencies and develop response plans.

Chapter 9. Engaging and coordinating partners [PDF]
This chapter describes the importance of each RCRC Society’s cooperation with the IFRC institutions, other RCRC Societies and external organizations in order to enhance its response capabilities.

Chapter 10. Managing public communication activities [PDF]
There were some problems with regard to nuclear emergency communication with the general public. Governments should hold the chief communication role, but RCRC Societies may be expected to take on an auxiliary or support role. Organizations such as the Red Cross which have expertise and the public’s trust are asked to provide reliable information and also correct information from neutral sources during the emergency.

Chapter 11. Psychosocial interventions [PDF]
Psychological stress from fear of radiation may significantly influence the health of survivors. Therefore, it will be very important to provide them with appropriate psychosocial care. This chapter explains the RCRC psychosocial involvement with survivors during these phases: immediately after the onset of an emergency; the subsequent period; and a long-term period.

Chapter 12. IFRC support and assistance [PDF]
This chapter explains IFRC support and assistance. Following the resolution adopted at the 2011 IFRC General Assembly, the IFRC has prepared for nuclear and radiological response. The IFRC will make further efforts to protect affected populations’ lives and livelihoods by utilizing the RCRC Societies’ resources and working in cooperation with other international organizations.

Info Box・Glossary of Terms・Useful Reference Sources [PDF]
These sections include a comparison table between the accidents in Fukushima and Chernobyl, glossary of terms and related information.

Related pages:
Nuclear Disaster Guidelines