Workshop on (Chemical, Biological), Radiological and Nuclear Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery


The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Austrian Red Cross are going to organize the (CB)RN workshop in Vienna, Austria, on 5 – 9 December 2016.


Following the severe earthquake and tsunami which triggered a nuclear accident in March 2011 in Japan, the Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies adopted a resolution on preparedness to respond to the humanitarian consequences of nuclear accidents.

The objective of this resolution is to improve the knowledge and competence of the IFRC and the National Societies (NSs) in order to play a greater role in preparedness and response efforts for radiological and nuclear emergencies and to build up capacity to cope with the humanitarian consequences during and after a nuclear accident.

Focus of this workshop is to enable National societies to plan, prepare for and to review their operational emergency structure for (CB)RN emergencies.

The IFRC has developed with the support of the NSs operational guidelines for nuclear & radiological emergencies - preparedness, response and recovery which will be the basis for this workshop. This document aims to capture the main points relevant for the IFRC and NSs to address such kind of hazards and ensure the staff and volunteers’ safety and enable them to respond accordingly in their national role.

In the discussions by the Reference Group on Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies, the issue of an appropriate dissemination of the guidelines has been raised and this workshop has been developed to enable the NSs to get better acquainted with the specificities of an operation in this special kind of emergencies and disasters and enable them to address the humanitarian needs of the affected population according to their mandate.


The workshop aims to provide participants from NSs with practical information and tools as laid out in the IFRC nuclear emergency guidelines. As an outcome of this workshop, participants shall be able to:

  • Define their NSs’ contingency plan for (CB)RN according to their existing services and the mandate given to them by their authorities;
  • Understand the policy framework in which the IFRC and NSs have a role to address (CB)RN hazards;
  • Be able to define (CB)RN risks and hazards scenarios and analyze them to address the humanitarian impact and needs;
  • Be aware of the duty of care to staff and volunteers in a (CB)RN scenario and the relevant protective measures which shall be undertaken by NSs;
  • Understand the role of other actors (national and international) when dealing with a (CB)RN emergency;
  • Exchange best practices in setting up relevant (CB)RN EPR (Emergency Preparedness Response) tools;
  • Share information on available teams and equipment in the area of (CB)RN;
  • Discuss possibilities to support each other regionally in (CB)RN emergencies;
  • Share opportunities for training/capacity building/exercises.


The meeting targets programmatic and operational experts globally from NSs involved in Disaster Preparedness and Response, especially with experience in (CB)RN threats, and the relevant IFRC & ICRC representatives interested in bringing together a network of specialists and in building up capacity through constructive dialogues. Participants shall be in a position to develop for their NS a programmatic plan which will enable them to take up a meaningful position in national, regional and international (CB)RN activities.


The workshop will provide participants with a mixture of theoretical knowledge through lectures but also an interactive possibility to develop in group works certain key issues on the topic. The sessions will be accompanied by technical experts who will be providing the technical input and also some background feedback to assure the participants will be able to take up the content in their national context upon their return.

Programme of the workshop [PDF]
Session objectives / Pre-course Background reading [PDF]

Participants are encouraged to refer documents, videos and websites above before the workshop. Those links provide a wide range of information, knowledge and experience about Nuclear Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery.