[ RadSafe ] International experts train for radiation emergency
royherren2005 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 18 14:25:14 CDT 2007
International experts train for radiation emergency
Apr 18, 2007, 12:15 GMT
Eggendorf, Austria - Radiation experts from 30 nations Wednesday met at the grounds of an abandoned explosives factory around 50 kilometres south of Vienna to start their training for a radiation emergency.
The aim of the exercise is to train the 200 experts and first response teams in how to take radiation measurements in emergency situations and to handle incidents ranging from transport accidents involving radioactive sources to the recovery of orphaned sources or even the explosion of a dirty bomb.
Radioactive sources are used daily in hospitals, industry or construction businesses, making loss, accidents or injuries due to inexperienced handling a very tangible risk.
According to experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA), reports of incidents, accidents or lost sources surface every day, although really serious accidents remain the exception.
In the exercise, jointly organized by the IAEA, the Austrian armed forces and Austrian Research Centres, nine scenarios for the 58 participating international teams were set up to find, identify and recover radioactive sources.
To create realistic situations the experts were given only one hour to perform their tasks in each scenario, organizer Martina Schwaiger of the Austrian Research Centres told journalists on Wednesday.
'We are not making it easy for them - we varied combinations of sources, the doses, and also shielded them to make detection more difficult.'
The organizers hope not only to provide a realistic training scenario, but also to facilitate contacts and networking among teams from countries as diverse as Italy or Iran.
'If there is an accident, it does not stop at the border. You have to know whom to talk to and how reliable those people are,' one of the participating experts said.
© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
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