IAEA Launches Self-Assessment Tool for Emergency Preparedness


A new web-based tool launched yesterday by the IAEA enables Member States to assess their preparedness for nuclear and radiological emergencies and share their information with other countries. The Emergency Preparedness and Response Information Management System (EPRIMS) provides a comprehensive analysis of countries’ emergency preparedness arrangements and identifies areas for improvement.


“Without preparedness there can be no effective response in the case of an emergency,” said Elena Buglova, Head of the IAEA’s Incident and Emergency Centre. “This new self-assessment tool will make an important contribution to preparedness levels in Member States.”


EPRIMS is open to all Member States and it only needs the registration of a national coordinator to get started. During a pilot phase, all features have been tested with the assistance of some Member States.



The IAEA has launched its new Emergency Preparedness and Response Information Management System during a side-event of the 59th IAEA General Conference. (Photo: V. Fournier/IAEA)


Assessing arrangements for emergency preparedness and response on a national level is a complex task. Every emergency response system involves a broad range of stakeholders, from policy makers to fire fighters. EPRIMS enables Member States to merge all the information on the capabilities of stakeholders in a single system. It analyses the data and is able to identify where the response arrangements are consistent with IAEA Safety Standards and where further improvement is necessary. Multiple users in a Member State can work simultaneously with EPRIMS and enter their data, speeding up the self-assessment process.


EPRIMS offers Member States the option to share the results of their self-assessment with officials in other countries. Buglova explained that it was up to each Member State to decide with which other States it wanted to share its data, but the IAEA was encouraging wide sharing in order to maximize the benefits of the system for international preparedness.


“As Member States from one region, for example, can share their information on emergency preparedness and response capabilities, a major advantage of EPRIMS is that it provides another basis to harmonize the response to transboundary emergencies within this region,” said Peter Hofer of Austria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management.


Accurate technical information on nuclear power reactors is vital, both for the IAEA and its Member States, to effectively respond to an emergency. This kind of information is necessary for the IAEA to fulfil its expanded mandate to perform assessment and prognosis during such an emergency. EPRIMS includes a database of detailed technical information on nuclear power reactors, and the option to share all this data with other Member States facilitating international cooperation. The reactor technical information in EPRIMS complements the IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) database with which it is linked. “To aggregate this essential data is the second feature that makes EPRIMS unique and a truly international knowledge database,” Buglova said.