Saudi capabilities to face nuclear emergency tested at UAE drill

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday participated in an international exercise organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) simulating a severe nuclear emergency, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The mock drill called ConvEx-3 took place at the UAE’s Barakah nuclear plant. Participated by 76 member states of the IAEA, 12 international organizations, and 111 radiometric laboratories, it was one of the most complex emergency exercises organized by the agency in terms of the diversity of procedures.

The emergency, due to assumed emission of radioactive materials outside the Barakah plant, lasted for 36 hours.

The exercise tested the national system for preparedness and response to a nuclear emergency. It also highlighted the Kingdom’s capabilities to respond to this type of nuclear accident at the international level.

Every three to five years the Level 3 Convention Exercises (ConvEx-3) are organized to test international emergency response arrangements. It is implemented within the framework of the two agreements for early notification of a nuclear accident and the provision of assistance in the event of a nuclear emergency. The Kingdom joined the agreements in 1989.

The last ConvEx-3 exercise in 2017 was held in cooperation with Hungary.