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Announcement Code: 44228 (CN-210)
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International Experts’ Meeting on Enhancing Transparency and Communication Effectiveness in the event of a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency
Vienna, Austria
18-20 June 2012 Conference ID: 44228  (CN-210)

Against the backdrop of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) convened a Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety in Vienna, Austria, in June 2011. The Conference adopted a Ministerial Declaration which, inter alia, requested the Director General to prepare a draft Action Plan covering all the relevant aspects relating to nuclear safety, emergency preparedness and response, and radiation protection of people and the environment, as well as the relevant international legal framework.

On 22 September 2011, the IAEA General Conference unanimously endorsed the approval of the draft IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety by the Board of Governors. The Action Plan sets out a comprehensive programme of work, in 12 major areas, to strengthen nuclear safety worldwide. Under one of these areas, headed “Communication and information dissemination”, the IAEA Secretariat was requested to organize international experts’ meetings to analyse all relevant aspects of, and learn the lessons from, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. This International Experts’ Meeting (IEM) is being organized in response to that request.

B. Objectives

The objective of this IEM is to analyse relevant aspects for enhancing transparency and effectiveness in communications during a nuclear or radiological emergency, in the light of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, and to identify lessons learned and best practices for improving information dissemination. The meeting will also provide a forum for discussion

and the exchange of information among communications experts on the challenges involved in delivering easily understandable information during major emergencies, as well as in communicating with global audiences via traditional, electronic and social media. The meeting will also consider best practices for strengthening public confidence by addressing public concerns more effectively through improved emergency communication.

The meeting is expected to be of particular interest to representatives of National Competent Authorities responsible for developing and implementing crisis communications during emergencies of major public concern, nuclear facility operators and nuclear regulators, as well as to national public health authorities, national nuclear safety authorities, international organizations, relevant humanitarian and disaster relief organizations, and members of the media experienced in crisis reporting.

More specifically, the participants will:

• Share experiences and identify lessons learned in communication and information dissemination during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, including case studies of demonstrably effective outreach to the public;
• Identify means to improve transparency in public communications during a nuclear or radiological emergency;
• Identify best practices in the use of public communications mechanisms to ensure the dissemination of timely, factually correct, objective and easily understandable information in emergency situations;
• Exchange best practices for developing, in plain language, explanatory and advisory information that can be issued in emergencies of major public concern; and
• Identify best practices in public communication during emergencies of major public concern.

C. Format

A senior IAEA management representative will deliver the opening address.

The meeting will consist of three working plenary sessions dealing with the topics identified in Section D below and a closing plenary session.

The meeting will include keynote presentations by invited international experts to address issues related to the main topic areas on crisis communications during a nuclear or radiological emergency. The meeting will also include discussion periods.

The topics will be presented with the intention of stimulating substantive discussion. Presentations will be made by relevant experts from Japan, the IAEA, other international organizations — in particular representatives of organizations belonging to the Inter Agency Committee on Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies (IACRNE) — as well as by governmental spokespersons, crisis communications experts, experts from relevant relief organizations with experience in public communication during such emergencies, and members of the media experienced in crisis reporting.
An annotated programme will be made available on the IAEA’s website within the following weeks.

Summaries of all the presentations and discussions, including lessons learned, and recommendations for future activities, will be prepared by the Chairperson of the IEM and will be presented to the closing plenary session.

D. Topics

In general, the participants in the IEM will share experiences and identify lessons learned in communication and information dissemination during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, and will also discuss best practices in effective public communication during major emergencies of public concern, including:

Challenges in communication during a nuclear or radiological emergency:

• Challenges faced by the Japanese competent authorities and international organizations; and
• Challenges in informing global audiences via traditional and new media during a nuclear or radiological emergency.
Enhancing transparency in public communications during a nuclear or radiological emergency:

• Case studies of the experiences of the national regulator and affected operator during nuclear and radiological emergencies; and
• Case studies on enhancing the inter-agency response in support of effective public communication during a nuclear or radiological emergency.
Best practices in effective and transparent public communication during emergencies of major public concern:

• Identifying best practices of national governmental authorities and disaster response and humanitarian relief organizations in delivering easily understandable information during emergencies of major public concern; and
• Identifying best practices in effectively addressing public concerns through transparent communication during major emergencies.

E. Submission and Acceptance of Papers

Concise papers on issues falling within the topics listed in Section D above may be submitted as contributions to the IEM.

(a) Submission of Papers

Experts from Member States who wish to deliver a paper at the IEM must submit an abstract (in English) of maximum 400 words, together with a completed Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) and Participation Form (Form A), to the competent official authority for subsequent electronic transmission to the IAEA (Email: IEM2@iaea.org). These documents must be received by the IAEA by 25 April 2012. In addition, the synopsis must be sent electronically to: IEM2@iaea.org. The abstract should give enough information on the content of the proposed paper to enable the Selection Committee to evaluate it.

Introductory and general matters should not be included.

Authors are urged to make use of the “Extended Abstract Template” available on the IEM web page, as well as of the attached sample extended synopsis.

(b) Acceptance of Papers

The abstract will be considered only if the Participation Form (Form A) and Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) have been received by the deadline and through the appropriate official channels.
In order to provide ample time for discussion, the number of papers that can be accepted for oral presentation is limited. If the number of relevant and high quality papers submitted for selection exceeds the acceptable number, some of them may be selected for an interactive presentation in which speakers are provided space to display their work on an LCD screen during scheduled periods outside the plenary sessions.

Authors will be informed by 22 May 2012 whether their papers have been accepted by the Programme Committee on the basis of the synopsis submitted. At the same time, authors will be advised whether their paper has been accepted for oral presentation. Copies of plenary presentations/interactive presentations must be submitted by 15 June 2012.

The IEM Secretariat reserves the right to exclude papers that do not comply with the IAEA’s quality standards and/or do not apply to one of the topics listed in Section D above.

F. Participation

The IEM is aimed at dedicated experts, in particular those from the Governments of Member States, regulatory authorities, and operators with experience in developing strategies for crisis communications during an emergency of major public concern, as well as at representatives of national public health authorities, national nuclear safety authorities, international organizations, humanitarian and disaster relief organizations and the media.

Representatives of countries that are embarking on a nuclear programme for the first time or are considering the introduction of nuclear power are encouraged to attend the IEM.

All experts nominated by Member States to participate in the meeting are requested to register online in advance through the IEM web page. In addition they are required to send a completed Participation Form (Form A) and, if applicable, the Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) and the Grant Application Form (Form C) to the competent national authority (e.g. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or National Atomic Energy Authority) or to one of the organizations invited to participate, for subsequent transmission to the IAEA (Email: IEM2@iaea.org).
Participants will be accepted only if the Participation Form is transmitted through the competent national authority of a Member State of the IAEA or by an organization invited to participate.

Participants whose official designations have been received by the IAEA will receive further information on the IEM approximately one month before the beginning of the meeting. This information will also be posted on the IEM web page.

G. Expenditures

No registration fee is charged to participants.

The IAEA is generally not in a position to bear the travel and other costs of designated participants in the meeting. The IAEA has, however, limited funds at its disposal to help meet the cost of attendance of selected specialists from Member States eligible to receive technical assistance under the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme. Such assistance may be offered, upon specific request, to one participant per country provided that in the IAEA’s view the participant will make an important contribution to the meeting. If governments wish to apply for a grant on behalf of one of their experts, they should address specific requests to the IAEA to this effect. Governments should ensure that applications for grants are submitted by 25 April 2012 and that they are accompanied by a duly completed and signed Grant Application Form (Form C).
Approved grants will be issued in the form of a lump sum payment that usually covers only part of the cost of attendance.

H. Working Language

The working language of the IEM will be English. All communications, synopses and full papers must be sent to the IAEA in English.

I. Visas

Designated participants who require a visa to enter Austria should submit the necessary application to the nearest diplomatic or consular representative of Austria at least four weeks before they travel to Austria. Since Austria is a Schengen State, persons requiring a visa will have to apply for a Schengen visa. In States where Austria has no diplomatic mission, visas can be obtained from the consular authority of a Schengen Partner State representing Austria in the country in question.

J. IEM Secretariat

General address of the IEM Secretariat:
International Atomic Energy Agency
Vienna International Centre
PO Box 100
1400 Vienna, AUSTRIA
Tel.: +43 1 2600
Fax: +43 1 2600 2007
Email: IEM2@iaea.org

Scientific Secretary of the IEM:

Mr Peter Kaiser
Section Head
News and Information Section
Division of Public Information
Tel.: +43 1 2600 21286
Fax: + 43 1 2600 29610
Email: IEM2@iaea.org

Administration and organization:

Ms Martina Neuhold
Conference Services Section
Division of Conference and Document Services
Tel.: +43 1 2600 21314
Fax: +43 1 26007
Email: M.Neuhold@iaea.org

Subsequent correspondence on scientific matters should be sent to the Scientific Secretary and correspondence on administrative matters to the IAEA Conference Services Section.

K. IEM Web Page

Please visit the IEM web page regularly for new information regarding the meeting:

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