IAEA wraps up 10-day nuclear emergency response test in NW Russia

Publish date: March 19, 2008

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducted a review of Russia's emergency response plan for a radiation incident in a region that is home to aging nuclear submarines, United Press International reported.

The IAEA conducted the emergency preparedness review in the Northwest Russian province of Murmansk. Officials say the area is of concern because of potential threats from aging Soviet-era nuclear submarines and stored nuclear waste among other nuclear deposits in the region, UPI said.

The review was an IAEA effort to test Russia’s readiness to respond to a possible emergency situation related to the security and threats to the environment, the IAEA reported.

"It was extremely important to have the IAEA’s assessment of the Murmansk region’s preparedness before we embark upon more work in the area, and we will likely work further with the Agency on other projects," Vince Novak, director of the EBRD nuclear safety department, said in a statement.

The 10-day exercise was requested by the Russian deputy director of the Federal Agency for Atomic Energy and was conducted by IAEA experts. Officials say the IAEA has been working in Northwest Russia for more than a decade in an effort to facilitate and coordinated safe management of radioactive waste in the region.