IAEA discusses recent radiological accident simulation in Botswana

Participants in an emergency management exercise hosted by the BRPI with IAEA support. | Courtesy of the IAEA
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has detailed an emergency response exercise that took place in Gaborone, Botswana, this week.

The accident simulation was a part of a larger emergency exercise that had participation from response personnel in 21 African countries. This exercise was held by the Botswana Radiation Protection Incorporate (BRPI) with support from the IAEA.

This simulation consisted of a vehicle, which was carrying a mock source of radioactive material, that was involved in a staged automobile accident and facilitated the response of police, firefighting and medical personnel. Actors were also present to play the role of victims. Exercises like this facilitate response improvements for real-life incidents of the kind. The IAEA states that, although they are rare, incidents involving radioactive materials are serious and require appropriate response capabilities.
  
“The exercise allowed us to compare the response of the Botswanan organizations to our own national procedures,” Nahla Fadlalla, regulatory officer for the Sudanese Nuclear and Radiological Authority, said. “It was also an opportunity for local responders to test their own arrangements and prepare for real emergencies. You might have a perfect plan, but only on paper. After this drill, if an accident happens, the locals are expected to respond naturally. It won’t be the very first time they face such a situation.”

The IAEA works to develop guidelines that facilitate commonality in emergency response activities and operations between countries. 

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