On 21-25 of June 2021, two officers of the Nuclear Security Centre of Excellence (NSCOE) participated in the events under the European Commission-funded international project “Innovative Cluster for Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies” (INCLUDING) in Athens, Greece. INCLUDING project has been implemented under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Program 2014-2020. Two pre-planned project implementation events took place in Athens that week:
- 22-23 Jun – a Multidisciplinary Field Exercise “Responding to a radiological threat in the Piraeus Seaport” was hosted by the Hellenic Ministry of Defence. An exercise was aimed to assess the readiness of national competent authorities to prevent and to response to an attempt to smuggle radioactive material, as well as to mitigate the consequences of a radiological incident. The active phase of the exercise took place on June 22th in the Piraeus sea port container terminal. Here relevant nuclear security response procedures and equipment, information management skills, threat assessment and its interpretation functions were demonstrated. Besides conventional actions, a separate important block of this field exercise was dedicated to the use of advanced technologies for radiological surveillance. To ensure the safety of the officers, surveillance functions were performed by use of UAV / UGV technology and a remote-controlled ATV.
- 24-25 June – the 2nd Annual Workshop on Nuclear Security Infrastructure in Maritime environment, organized and hosted by the National Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). During the Workshop (after two days of field exercise in the Piraeus Port Container Terminal) the following aspects of maritime infrastructure security and issues in responding to nuclear security scenarios were discussed:
- strategic issues and the international legal framework;
- operational capabilities and innovations;
- cooperation between EU projects and international activities in the nuclear security domain.
During a Workshop in Athens, the Head of NSCOE A. Livsic presented the NSCOE experience in conducting nuclear security exercises. A chief specialist of NSCOE D. Neimontaite moderated one of the Workshop sessions, also, at the request of the project coordinator, delivered a presentation on “Evaluation Methodology in the INCLUDING Project” at the II Remote International Scientific Conference “Innovation Evaluation Mechanisms in Crisis Management” organized by WSB University, Poland.
NSCOE, together with other institutions of 15 EU Member States, has been participating in the consortium of the implementation of the INCLUDING project (Innovative CLuster on raDIological and Nuclear emerGencies) since 2019. The aim of the project is to bring together the infrastructure, equipment and experts in the field of radiological and nuclear emergencies from EU countries. This would create a Federation that is able to generate and share resources among stakeholders, making the most effective use of knowledge and technology.