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Summary of the Meeting

Summary of the Meeting

Summary and comments on the Third Reference Group Meeting on Nuclear & Radiological Emergency Preparedness from the IFRC are posted.

Summary of the Meeting

The 3rd Reference Group Meeting on Nuclear & Radiological Emergency Preparedness was held from 27 till 30 October, 2014 in Fukushima, Japan. It was co-hosted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS).
Participants from 16 different National Societies (NS) plus International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and IFRC representatives had the opportunity to capture and understand the humanitarian consequences of a nuclear & radiological emergency. Gaining expertise on getting better prepared, opportunities to network with other NS who have already established some capacity and discuss with some external partners like International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and Chair of Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission by the National Diet of Japan (NAIIC) as well as high school student from Fukushima and Tokyo (the 1st Step from Fukushima Project members), enabled the NS to embrace the humanitarian consequences from such events in a multi hazard approach. The following specific objectives were discussed in details during the meeting:

  • Facing the realities of the RC response and challenges in Fukushima:
    ・ The current situation of the affected area and population 3.5 years after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident that was the largest disaster including technological hazards in recent years.
    ・ How 1 billion USD which was mobilized globally through the Red Cross and Red Crescent (RC) network are utilized.
    ・ What is the uniqueness of disaster and response required, when chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) substances are involved.
    ・ How strongly people in Fukushima have recovered, and what is still need to be done.
  • Discussing the draft IFRC Guidelines for nuclear emergency preparedness & response
  • How better to incorporate the topic into existing RC work and services on preparedness and response
  • Way forward: How to enhance further integration of the topic in ongoing operations, setup of a pool of experts, regional workshops, how to address this issue at the next statutory meetings in December 2015, foster humanitarian diplomacy activities within international networks on nuclear emergencies.

Outcomes of the meeting

Summary of the Meeting

The 4 day meeting brought a number of specific outcomes and results:

  • The IFRC Guidelines are key for National Societies to integrate the issue of nuclear preparedness in their domestic plans. After integration of the numerous suggestions, a final version shall be disseminated early 2015.
  • In order to keep the regional context of the preparedness and response capacities of National Societies, regional workshops should be organised to better link the existing capacities for CBRN and to foster peer support to neighbouring National Societies.
  • Nuclear emergency preparedness with the nexus of technological hazards as well as chemical and biological hazards should be further streamlined in existing or ongoing efforts to strengthen disaster preparedness and resilience.
  • Support and ensure appropriate resources available for the IFRC programme
  • Activities to support a programme at a National Society level are currently made through financial support, technical support or joint applications to donor programmes. In order to make this programme sustainable for the long term, these efforts need to be strengthened.
  • National Societies shall engage as auxiliary to their government on the topic of nuclear emergency and preparedness. In order to be able to address in the national context, the specific topic of nuclear emergency preparedness, NSs need to make themselves knowledgeable about their national nuclear emergency plans in their countries and further define their prospective role according to their relevant available capacities and services for disaster preparedness and response.