Promoting Cooperation in Maritime Emergencies Potentially Releasing Radioactive Substances

EPPR Cross Country Cooperation Network to Improve Emergency Prevention, Response and the Safety of Rescue Workers in Case of a Maritime Accident Involving a Potential Release of Radioactive Substances in the Arctic

ARCSAFE serves as an arena to promote cooperation and network-activities among the Arctic Council members to strengthen the cross-border prevention, preparedness and handling of maritime emergencies which may involve a potential release of radioactive substances in the Arctic.

ARCSAFE disseminates and complements ongoing work by other relevant international bodies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO), and other Arctic Council Working Groups.

Potential issues identified at ARCSAFE workshop

  • Existing risk that emergency response may be compromised due to lack of knowledge and a heightened perceived risk among emergency workers and emergency helpers
  • Existing need for joint exercises and building trust between RN experts and emergency workers / emergency helpers

RADEX 2019 Table Top Exercise

ARCSAFE project conducted RADEX 2019 table top exercise in 2019. RADEX 2019 was an international exercise related to rescue operations in radiological hazardous areas and with risk for radioactive contamination at sea in the Arctic. The TTX covered a maritime radiological/nuclear event including search and rescue (SAR) operations in radiologically hazardous areas, thus calling upon coordinated actions from several response organizations.

ARCSAFE Work laid ground for the establishment of the Radiation Expert Group in the EPPR in 2019.

ARCSAFE Summary Status Report was an EPPR deliverable at the Rovaniemi Ministerial meeting in May 2019.


RADSAR is a sub-project of ARCSAFE. The objective of the project is to identify possible challenges and further improve national and international emergency preparedness and response related to SAR operations in a radiological hazardous environment in the Arctic. Sharing competence within search and rescue (SAR) operations in a radiological or nuclear event at sea is of importance.

The project will gather information from Rescue Coordination Centers (RCCs) including training, equipment and information flow between SAR organization and RN specialists needed to sustain the specific level of operational capacity. The focus is on international cooperation, including notification, information exchange and situational awareness, resource needs and utilization, international assistance, protective measures, and possible harmonization of decisions.