Updated: 12/04/2012 21:20

Asian countries strengthening readiness to respond to nuclear emergencies at workshop

Asian countries strengthening readiness to respond to nuclear emergencies at workshop

Countries in Asia are working to strengthen their readiness to respond swiftly to nuclear emergencies - at a workshop in Singapore. 

Representatives from their radiological and nuclear emergency authorities are here for the workshop from December 4 to 6. 

The workshop is hosted by Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA), in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 

It's being held in Southeast Asia for the first time, and is part of the IAEA's efforts to improve the transparency and effectiveness of sharing information during a radiological or nuclear emergency. 

This is one of the areas identified in the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety to strengthen nuclear safety, following the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011. 

At the workshop, participants will learn about the procedures and communication tools used by the IAEA. 

One of them is a secure website for member countries to exchange information on accidents and emergencies, called the Unified System for Information Exchange in Incidents and Emergencies.

Another is the International Nuclear Events Scale, which shows the severity of the situation, similar to the Richter scale for earthquakes. 

With two-thirds of the nuclear power plants under construction today parked in Asia, the NEA said the workshop will be an opportunity for Singapore government agencies and their regional counterparts to find out more about the tools offered by the IAEA to provide timely and accurate information during an emergency. 

Participants are from Singapore, Australia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

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