Nuclear Accident Preparedness Program

NAP Mission

Medical preparedness for radiation accidents is high on the agenda for emergency preparedness in the Newly Independent States. Boston University School of Medicine, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School developed a training program that aims to:

  • Train a cadre of instructors on recognition and management of patients accidentally exposed to ionizing radiation;
  • Train the cadre in pedagogical technique and educational assessment;
  • Support the cadre’s conduct of further training by providing structured opportunities for teaching; and
  • Integrate regional medical response in the event of a radiation accident.

The program consists of core curriculum, manual, faculty development, course instruction, an online regional accident management network and practical exercises using monitoring equipment. The program is targeted to emergency first-responders in Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States. The International Atomic Energy Agency provides funding and guidance with respect to integration of the project into regional emergency preparedness. American International Health Alliance-sponsored regional training centers are used as training sites. As of November 2000, three trainer cycles, 21 training courses and one Internet-based radiation accident exercise have taken place, reaching 466 emergency professionals from 25 European member states. The trained instructors have delivered the course 12 times in their own countries.

In this program, increasing numbers of emergency first-responders are becoming familiar with regional and national policies, procedures, roles, and responsibilities. Medical professionals are being trained under a unified training approach and constitute a core network that holds promise for their incorporation into national response plans and regional priorities. This is creating favorable conditions for integration of medical into overall emergency response. This training program demonstrates the joining of academic, local, and governmental institutions with a United Nations agency to address an issue of high regional concern.

For more information please contact:

Erwin F. Hirsch, MD, FACS, Program Director

Kirsten Levy, MBA, Program Manager

Domenic Screnci, EdD, Distance Learning and Telemedicine Manager

Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine