IAEA Reviews Nigeria’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Framework

(Photo: bp.blogspot.com)

(Photo: bp.blogspot.com)

Nigeria, 23 June 2015 – An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts today concluded a 10-day mission to review the emergency preparedness and response framework in Nigeria. The Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV) was carried out at the invitation of the Nigerian Government.

The team included five experts from Cuba, Croatia, Hungary, Pakistan and the IAEA.

“Nigeria clearly showed that it understands the importance of being well prepared to respond to nuclear or radiological issues when it requested this EPREV mission,” said Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of its Department of Nuclear Safety and Security. “This is a cornerstone of nuclear safety. The IAEA is very pleased to assist Nigeria in identifying strengths and opportunities for improvements in a spirit of transparency.”

Lawrence Dim, Director General of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), said hosting the mission underlined Nigeria’s desire for continuous improvement of its emergency preparedness and response arrangements. “This is linked to the robust and rapid growth of peaceful nuclear applications in all sectors of the economy and the commitment of Nigeria to add nuclear electricity to the energy mix,” Dim said at the closing meeting. “We thank the IAEA for the partnership and assistance in this critical area of national need.”

The review team identified strengths in several areas, including:

• Specific arrangements for responding to nuclear and radiological emergencies are well integrated into the country’s all-hazards emergency management system.

• The role of the NNRA and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is recognized and appreciated by relevant response organizations.

The review team also highlighted areas where more progress is needed, including:

• Capabilities to respond to a nuclear emergency should be strengthened in line with progress towards embarking on a nuclear power programme.

• State and local government levels need to be better involved in emergency preparedness and response.

• The roles of all response organizations and arrangements for appropriate coordination need to be clarified.

• The capabilities of first responders with regards to training, competence and equipment procurement and maintenance need improvement.

• Arrangements for providing instructions and keeping the public informed during emergencies need to be improved.

• Arrangements for a medical response to nuclear or radiological emergencies require improvement.

The EPREV team highlighted the excellent cooperation of all organizations involved in the review mission. In particular, the team noted the openness and transparency of all parties met during the mission.

About EPREV Missions:
EPREV missions are one of the peer review missions offered by the IAEA to strengthen nuclear safety in Member States. EPREV missions focus on the arrangements and capabilities to prepare for and respond to nuclear and radiological emergencies. EPREV missions are not audits or inspections. They aim at providing an open and transparent review while fostering a professional exchange of ideas and best practices among review experts and their national colleagues. EPREV missions are based on the IAEA Safety Standards in nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness and response.