Nuclear Accident Committee work to develop common guidance

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EBMT News, August 2011
Report following meeting of EBMT Nuclear Accident Committee, London 9th June 2011

As a consequence of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant incident, a group hosted by the EBMT NAC met in London in June to address lessons learnt from the Japanese incident and produce international consensus for the EBMT and RITN (Radiation Injury Treatment Network) websites.

Previously, an EBMT NAC pilot meeting was held during the Annual Meeting in Paris on the 4th of April. It was attended by 23 key people from Japan, Europe, the US and India.

It identified that leadership in big national disaster requires a very careful balance between limited information distributions to the public not conflicting with subsequent care.

This milestone meeting in London aimed at addressing these issues. It was attended by key leaders in the field: Department of Health Emergency Preparedness Division UK, IRSN, CRSSA France, DanaFarber Cancer Institute US, RITN US, JSHCT Japan, BSBMT UK, Center for Biosecurity of UPMC US, GITMO Italy, and other worldwide representatives.

Firstly the attendees discussed the nature, timing and cascade of distribution of communications sent out after a major radiation incident. Particularly when capacity is overwhelmed in the country where the event occurs or when the event itself crosses National boundaries.

In fact, several communications were sent out to assess resources and clinical support within the network of EBMT Centers that could provide care in the event of major radiation incident and also that could follow training in radiation preparedness.

This incident highlighted the strong need for more international networking in the field of medical radiation accident management. And it has been argued that the EBMT should be proactive in using the NAC Committee members as an educational resource.

Attendees then discussed the other functions of the EBMT can offer relating to radiation incidents. These include among others a close collaboration between the EU, Japan, the US and WHO; medical advice on Stem Cell collection and storage and on allogeneic transplantation decisions; expertise and guidance to the 3rd world countries regarding ongoing treatment.

Lessons have been learnt from the Fukushima Daiichi accident and enhance willingness to develop common guidance and extend the EBMT Training Programme into the EU with a proposed Training Day following-on from the EBMT 2012 Annual Meeting in Geneva.

About the EBMT Nuclear Accident Committee (EBMT NAC)
The EBMT NAC was formed by the EBMT Board in 2002 after 9/11 to explore the use of the EBMT Centres and Haematologist, as a resource for preparedness if a major terrorist or accidental radiation incident occurred. The committee was immediately recognised as an important initiative and was invited to be a liaison group with the World Health Organisation (WHO). It has major training and educational programmes, hosts consensus meetings on best practice, and publishes. Committee members lecture at international radiation preparedness meetings. The NAC has a high profile in the US. It received a grant of £50k from the UK in 2010 to assist in putting in place Radiation Preparedness prior to the 2012 Olympics. The Committee is planning to put in for major EU Commission funding.

Akihiro Sam Shimosaka,
Alejandro Madrigal and
Ray Powles


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