REAC/TS Strengthens Preparedness for Radiation Emergencies Worldwide
International partnerships help prepare medical professionals around the world for radiation medical emergencies
The Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS) at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) continues to establish international partnerships through education, exercises and conferences, which is helping to strengthen radiation emergency medical response around the globe.
REAC/TS’ international collaborations include observing a national full-field exercise at the Korea Hydroelectric CANDU Nuclear Power Plant complex in Wolsong, South Korea. The Republic of Korea Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) invited REAC/TS Director Albert Wiley, M.D., Ph.D., to report on his observations of the exercise, which simulated a fire in the plant’s power room, resulting in damage to the reactor core and the release of fission products into the environment. The scenario required MOST to work with health care providers and facilities and included the evacuation of 600 volunteer residents in surrounding communities.
REAC/TS similarly presented three days of radiation emergency training to 100 emergency response and planning individuals at the Mexican Navy Hospital in Vera Cruz. The training was in preparation for an nuclear power plant accident response exercise to be conducted by the Mexican government.
REAC/TS has also expanded its partnerships with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and World Health Organization (WHO) committees to develop international documentation on medical management of radiation incidents. ORISE experts contributed to plans for how IAEA countries may medically assist each other in the event of a nuclear/radiological incident, and consulted on a WHO handbook for medical response to weapons of mass destruction.