Beijing, China, 20-24 September 1999

1. OPENING OF THE MEETING (Agenda item 1)

1.1 The meeting of the Expert Team on Emergency Response and related activities was held, at the kind invitation of the China Meteorological Administration, at the Olympic Hotel in Beijing, China, from 20 to 24 September1999. The meeting was opened by Mr Peter Chen (Canada) Chair of the Expert Team who, welcomed the participants, and expressed his thanks to the host for the excellent facilities and hospitality made available for the meeting.

1.2 Mr Chen noted that in accordance with the terms of reference of the team the agenda of the meeting suggest the focus of this meeting is to develop areas and means of co-operation with CTBTO, and evaluate results of exercises. To improve procedures and practices it will also consider operational procedures for response to nuclear, chemical incidents and other atmospheric large-scale pollution episodes such as transboundary haze and smoke due to forest fires. He further noted that the meeting would review products to be made available and procedures for meteorological support services to humanitarian missions.

1.3 Mr Schiessl, Director Basic Systems, WWW Department of WMO, on behalf of the Secretary General of WMO, thanked and expressed appreciation to the CMA for hosting the meeting, and welcomed the participants. He recalled that CBS-Ext.(98) restructured its working arrangements and established Open Programme Areas with Expert Teams to address specific tasks during the inter-session period. He noted that it is under these new procedures that this Team was established within the OPAG on Data Processing and Forecasting Systems. He also paid tribute to the chair for steering the work of the Team and to all contributors to documentation for the meeting for their effort and a wealth of proposals, which highly facilitated the work of the meeting.


2.1 Approval of the agenda (Agenda item 2.1)

2.1.1 The meeting adopted the agenda given in Appendix I.

2.2 Working arrangements for the meeting (agenda item 2.2)

2.2.1 The meeting agreed on its working hours, mechanism and work schedule.

2.2.2 There were 15 participants at the meeting as indicated in the list of participants given in Appendix II.


3.1 The mission of CTBTO is to verify compliance with the Comprehensive Ban of nuclear Tests and nuclear explosions. The organizational instruments of the CTBTO are the Preparatory Commission with its Working Group A (financial matters) and Working Group B (scientific/technical matters), the Provisional Technical Secretariat including the International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna, Austria. The CTBTO operations require atmospheric observations and NWP input. This requirement led the CTBTO to approach WMO for collaboration. The plans discussed between CTBTO and WMO included: (i) the daily provision of global NWP grid fields to drive CTBTO models and auxiliary data for quality control; (ii) the provision of atmospheric transport model (ATM) products from selected WMO Specialized Centre; (iii) the provision of meteorological data from CTBTO monitoring stations to WMO through the CTBTO; and (iv) assistance in the development and operation of CTBTO’s own ATM capability International Data Centre.

3.2 The Meeting recalled that the CBS, at its eleventh session (Cairo, Egypt, 1996), felt that it would be beneficial to apply GDPS functions to support CTBTO requirements. To this end, two meetings of experts of the CTBTO and WMO (1997 and 1998) produced several proposals that were adopted by the Commission, at its extra-ordinary session 1998 (Karlsruhe, Germany), by way of Recommendation 4 (CBS-Ext.(98)). EC-LI (May 1999) approved that recommendation.

3.3 Following the CTBTO invitations to the February and September 1999 sessions of its Working Group B, WMO contributed to the further development of the above mentioned plans based on the recommendations of CBS-Ext.(98). In addition, meteorologists, mainly from Canada and the USA, advised the WG-B and carried out test of concepts on the provision of ATM products etc., (see item 4).

3.4 In the light of these activities and experiences gained, the Meeting reviewed the Recommendation 4 (CBS-Ext.(98)) in detail and arrived at the following conclusions/proposals:

The Meeting noted, that networks of monitoring stations consisting of 60 primary seismic stations, 120 auxiliary seismic stations, 11 hydrocustic stations, 80 (atmospheric) radionuclide stations, and 60 infrasound stations are currently being implemented that reports in real-time to the IDC. The CTBTO followed the CBS recommendation and in included the standards in the technical specification document on radionuclide stations; action completed.

Installation of CTBTO stations are subject to the various constraints, such as, complications in station ownership, technical or financial problems, or a too advanced state of project planning. However, the Meeting noted that in some countries CTBTO stations were in fact established at sites of meteorological stations; action completed.

Not applicable. No such distribution mode has been foreseen.

As preliminary arrangements implemented between IDC and NOAA-NWS have demonstrated, the currently required gridded NWP products can be provided without problems by WMO centres volunteering to participate. With a view to developing the appropriate operational arrangements the Meeting supported CTBTO’s proposal to explore various options (including regular, primary and backup services) further through a trial (preferably in late 1999 to early 2000) between interested centres and the IDC, and to evaluate the results in a CTBTO workshop. It was expected that the workshop would be able to develop draft operational arrangements.

Not applicable. The CTBTO meteorological support requirements for on-site inspections will be met through the provision of public weather services by the NMS of the country hosting the inspection.

The data would be required in a non-real-time mode. Operational aspects will be explored.

The Meeting recommended that resilient data links would eventually be needed. The Meeting further recommended that data should be transferred in both directions in WMO code forms. CTBTO was invited to provide a description of the station locations, as well as of types and observations frequency of the meteorological and other related parameters measured at its stations.

As demonstrated in preliminary tests with the prototype IDC, the provision of current ATM products is possible. The trial proposals in item 4 below will further explore the operational arrangements or requirements. The operational arrangement will be drafted as a result of the trial.

This activity is of a long-term nature and will not be immediately pursued by CTBTO. It should be revisited at future meetings according to the evolving requirements of the CTBTO.

This recommendation should be held in abeyance until the technical parameters and the CTBTO Global Communications Infrastructure (GCI) are established and operational implications both for the CTBTO as well as the WMO stations are fully studied.


4.1 The meeting considered and endorsed a proposal for further testing of the concepts surrounding possible future collaboration between the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization and the World Meteorological Organization. The proposal is based on that a limited joint test already conducted and results presented at the 9th session of Working Group B (CTBT/WGB/TL-2/25) held in May 1999, involving the Prototype IDC (PIDC, Arlington, Virginia USA) and three of the WMO Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMCs). Such further testing would be conducted to further explore, in a practical way, some of the possible avenues for co-operation as they apply to long range transport and dispersion modelling applied to Treaty verification purposes.

4.2 The informal test would involve additional volunteers, RSMCs or NMCs and the CTBTO-IDC (Vienna). CMC and CTBTO-PTS would organize the test. Results, lessons learned and improvements to the systems/products will be discussed at a CTBTO-PTS workshop to be held in early 2000.

4.3 The objectives of this test are to explore how long-range transport and dispersion modelling tools and outputs would be useful in complementing IDC software and to see how the results compare. As a result, a better understanding of the different tools and existing capabilities would be available to WGB. If appropriate, CTBTO would identify what new tools and products would be required.

4.4 The test would run in two separate parts. On the first day, hypothetical waveform event detection will be announced by the CTBTO-IDC and the participating Meteorological Centres would run transport/dispersion models and subsequent analysis in forward mode (usually tested by the WMO Specialized Centres and not planned for the IDC software). The air mass originating at the site of the event would (hopefully) cross one of the designated radionuclide stations, and be "detected" in a virtual sense after 48 or 72 hours. The second part (second day) of the test will be based on a hypothetical detection at that radionuclide station and the transport and dispersion models would be run in reverse (backtracking) mode.

4.5 The objective of the planned CTBTO workshop would be to:


5.1 Issues arising from testing and exercises

5.1.1 It was agreed that the list for Delegated Authorities and NMS operational contact continues to be regularly updated by Members and accessible from the WMO web site. The Secretariat should inform by e-mail message the RSMCs (EER) whenever an update is made.

5.1.2 To address the issue of current deficiencies in the use of telefax as a means of communication, the meeting recommended that WMO, IAEA and the RSMCs Montreal and Washington continue to jointly explore other and better means of transmitting the information to the NMSs that have the required technology (e-mail, www, ftp, etc.). Faxing would remain the official means of transmitting the information to the other Countries. The WMO secretariat will facilitate communication with the other RSMCs.

5.1.3 In further analyzing the lessons learnt from the past exercises, the Meeting identified a need for clarification of the procedures and practices relating to the notification of WMO by the IAEA Emergency Response Unit in the context of and based on its obligations specified in the Convention on Early Notification of nuclear accident. Under this convention the IAEA is required to notify all of its signatory states and international organizations that acceded to the convention (these include WMO). As regards WMO, the IAEA will notify the WMO Secretariat and the RTH Offenbach (Germany). The latter will notify the NMCs by means of the EMERCON message through the GTS.

5.1.4 The Meeting recalled and reconfirmed the established procedure as published in the WMO Manual on the GTS (WMO-Pub. No. 386), Attachment II-5, defined as warnings (W) in Table A and WMO Pulbication No. 9, Volume C, a list of abbreviated headers of GTS bulletins, by which the IAEA is, inter alia, requested to notify the RTH Offenbach. Upon receiving the notification information from the IAEA, the RTH Offenbach will send an EMERCON message on the GTS in the form of an alphanumeric bulletin. The bulletin will be in plain-text English language and globally distributed to the NMCs under the abbreviated heading WNXX 01 IAEA MMDDHH.

5.1.5 The RTH Offenbach and the IAEA will collaborate in pre-arranging the practical aspects including the translation of the information given into the EMERCON message. The Meeting emphasized that the EMERCON must not be construed as a request for the provision of the basic products under the Convention on Assistance in case of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency and the corresponding WMO emergency response arrangements. A request for the provision of basic products to be provided by the dedicated RSMCs must follow the procedures given for this purpose in the WMO Manual on the GDPS (WMO-Pub. No. 485, Appendix I-3).

5.1.6 The Meeting recommended regulatory text on notification to be included in the Manual on the GDPS in Appendix I-3 as given in the annex to paragraph 5.3.1 and to adjust, if necessary the relevant text in the Manual on the GTS.

5.2 Exercises (example INEX planning)

5.2.1 The meeting was informed on the rationale, objectives procedures for joint monthly tests between RSMCs Montreal, Washington and Melbourne. The tests initially used the fax to exchange products but rapidly decided to move to UNIX-based File Transfer Protocol (FTP). The FTP protocol, allows the user to exchange any type of files, be it data or graphics. Each of the 3 RSMCs developed their own protected web site for the other two to access graphical products. While faxing of the products is still done, it has de facto essentially become a backup to the use of FTP and Internet. The RSMC Washington developed a prototype web page in July 1999. It allows the user to view the default scenario maps and trajectories for the 3 RSMCs on a single web page. The IAEA expressed its wish in participating in future monthly tests. The objectives and benefits for such joint monthly tests were noted as:



The monthly tests have proven to be very valuable to:

5.2.2 The meeting considered that current guidance on exercises in TD/No.778 as valid for the planing of future exercises. Noting that no full WMO exercise has been carried out since the last global exercise in 1997, it agreed that a full scale global WMO exercise be organised with the participation of IAEA in the second quarter of 2000. It requested the Secretariat to make arrangements and contact RSMCs with a view to identifying volunteer Centres to plan, formulate detailed objective to test the proposed modified EER procedures with the participation of all NMSs, organise and evaluate the exercise.

5.2.3 It was recognized by the meeting that joint IAEA or OECD/NEA exercises with a WMO participation should be used to test agreed or proposed procedures. They should not be used for the training of the people involved in emergency response. This training should and can be done on a smaller scale (for instance through monthly exercises between RSMCs as indicated above) or through exercises based upon bilateral or multilateral agreements and possibly involving some RSMCs and some NMS and/or IAEA).

5.2.4 Moreover it was emphasised that exercises should not create confusion between two objectives:

5.2.5 Past INEX-2 series of exercises, staged by OECD/NEA (not by IAEA or WMO) have been confusing for RSMCs and some NMSs as well as for IAEA. These joint exercises have had multiple objectives; some of them not clearly specified. In INEX exercises there has been a mixing of the testing of new ideas and the testing of the current procedures. Some deficiencies have been noted in their organization, regarding for instance the definition of the list of participants, and their precise role. Some NMSs being aware of these exercises, but not necessarily of their special scope, have taken the opportunity to test the request for RSMC support procedure, while the focus should have been on the relations between the NMSs and the IAEA national contact points in the context of a national participation to the exercise. As far as the participant list is concerned experts have recommended that this list should be disclosed at least a few weeks before the exercise. Experts have also suggested that WMO secretariat could play a role in establishing the list of NMSs participation.

5.2.6 The WMO representative to the first INEX-2000 planning committee informed the meeting that NEA wanted a follow-up to INEX-2 series called the INEX-2000 exercise. The host country would be France. A first meeting of the planning committee took place in Paris the 5-6 May 1999. A NEA main objective in INEX-2000 was to explore « the use of modern web based technologies » for the dissemination of the emergency information, including meteorological products. The NEA does not intend to test the way by which the different participants will fulfil their responsibilities. It has become clear during this INEX-2000 planning committee meeting that the different objectives of the Agencies /Organizations (NEA, IAEA, WMO) likely to participate in the future joint exercises will need a clarification.

5.2.7 It was agreed that both the IAEA and the WMO must take measures to strengthen their roles in responding to a nuclear accident or radiological emergency. Experience has shown that investigation and exploration are needed to look at to use current communication methods, to incorporate means to enhance speed of transmission, product presentation and security in the distribution. In this connection the meeting considered the possibility for RSMCs/NMCs to participate in NEA/INEX series of exercises as opportunities to explore the benefits of new technologies. It was concluded that while it is unlikely that the WMO RSMCs/NMCs would participate as a group (Regional and Global Arrangements) in INEX-2000, they would consider their participation in future joint inter agency exercise should WMO exercise objectives be met. In the planning of multiagency exercise, INEX-2001 the agencies that are considering their participation must provide their objectives and expectations for the frequency of such exercises to the Interagency Committee on Nuclear Accidents (Task Group) by the end of 1999. Final exercise objectives for INEX-2001 would be available by mid 2000. It is highly desirable that WMO’s participation would be contingent on INEX-2001 to take place no earlier than the 3rd quarter of 2001. It was also noted that general principles for WMO RSMC/NMS exercises have already been developed. It was expressed that when participating in exercises, and in particular exercises that involve other agencies, the role played by RSMCs/NMSs should be very clearly defined and understood well in advance of the exercise.

5.2.8 The meeting recommend that in the case of the use of web oriented technologies during any future exercise, NMS should continue to facilitate use of products by national Agencies. This could only be achieved in the context of a national participation to the exercise.

5.3 Updates to guidance documentation and operational procedures and arrangements

5.3.1 The meeting considered and approved proposals for updates to the publication, Documentation on RSMC Support for Environmental Emergency response (WMO –TD/No.778) as given in the annex to this paragraph. The updates relate to sections 1, 2, and 4 and Annex 1 of the publication. These amendments reflect procedures already adopted by CBS Ext.(98). The meeting agreed that RSMCs should as a matter of urgency prepare and provide to the Secretariat input or updates to guidance in the relevant annex to WMO TD/No. 778 publication.

5.3.2 The meeting considered that there was no pressing need to substantially amend the current Regional and Global arrangements for the provision of transport model products for environmental emergency response and related standards in the provision of international services by RSMCs for nuclear environmental emergency response. Nevertheless it considered the need to propose amendments to the manual related to notification to WMO by the IAEA as recorded under paragraphs 5.1.3 - 5.1.6 of this report and agreed on amendments given in the annex to paragraph 5.3.1.

5.3.3 The meeting was informed that there was no requirement by IAEA to receive basic products generated by RSMCs as a result of a request from Delegated Authorities. It was agreed to recommend amendments to the current arrangements to give effect to these changes of requirements. The meeting considered a new requirement for cases where IAEA may request basic products to be provided only to IAEA and recommended relevant changes to address the requirement. It also agreed on an amendment in the standards (paragraph 4.2) to the effect that the RSMCs may also make use of other appropriate technologies in addition to fax. The meeting also proposed a minor amendment defining the source location in "decimal degrees" in the standards and in the request for service form. The proposed amendments are given in the annex to paragraph 5.3.1 (- Section 4 and Annex 1).

5.3.4 The meeting noted concern expressed by IAEA regarding lack of common applicability dates for related regulatory procedures promulgated by the Organization and the Agency and invited the two Secretariats to address the issue within the frame work of their working arrangements.

5.4 Year 2000 mitigation

5.4.1 The meeting was informed and took stock of implementation related EER issues of the International WMO Y2K Monitoring and Contingency Plan. It was noted that details will be published in October 1999. The NMCs in Bracknell, Melbourne, Moscow, Offenbach, Tokyo and Washington have agreed to play leading roles as follows:

Beginning at 06 UTC on 31 December 1999 and every six hours thereafter, each RTH should send a message to its designated Y2K Situation Centre reporting on the current status of the operation of the telecommunication links to its client NMCs. The report should be sent in the form of an addressed message over the GTS and as an Internet e-mail message.

If an NMHS experiences a loss of data received from an international source or if an NMHS can not meet its international obligations the NMHS should contact its responsible RTH following standard operational procedures.

5.4.2 The RSMCs for EER confirmed their year 2000 compliance and contingency plans for the transition period 31 December 1999/1 January 2000. The meeting also noted that certain year 2000 issues extend to 2001.


6.1 The meeting reviewed current activities which included established services such as those provided under the USA CAMEO programme with public web site provided by NOAA OR&R home page: and regional surveys under the European net work, EUMETNET, to explore co-operation and share information on models. Information was also given on national programmes such as those in France and UK.

6.2 The meeting reviewed the conclusions of CBS Ext.(98) and agreed that these largely constituted guidance material, which should be supplemented by relevant parts of input by C.F Kroonenberg, (Netherlands) as given in the annex to this paragraph. The input is on KNMI experience in setting up an emergency response organization on serious chemical accidents and included in the Documentation on RSMC support for Environmental Emergency response (TD/No 778). It was agreed that the guidance should reference the USA CAMEO web page and any available software in the CBS registry on chemical transport models.


7.1 The participant from RSMC Melbourne presented comprehensive procedures to integrate and activate NMSs/RSMCs in case of chemical incidents or forest fires. These cover environmental incident alert, general response procedure, product generation, product dissemination procedures, product destinations, standardisation of products and procedures and system updates and test. The meeting agreed that the highly comprehensive input was very useful guidance and invited Dr Paul Stewart to include it in the RSMC Melbourne part of the update to the Documentation on RSMC support for Environmental Emergency response (TD/No 778). These procedures need to further explore by other NMCs and RSMCs as to their applicability in their centres.

7.2 The meeting was informed by the USA participant and took note of the international Programme to address regional transboundary smoke (PARTS). The goals of PARTS programme are:


8.1 The meeting recalled that the arrangements for the provision of meteorological support/services to United Nations humanitarian relief missions, in particular to UN/OCHA, were adopted by CBS-XI (Cairo, Egypt, 1996) and, following the approval by EC-XLVIII (1997), as updated by CBS Ext.(98), published in the Manual on the GDPS, Appendix I-5. The meeting revisited the provisions made by WMO through the NMS and their designated points of contact, which are to respond to the requests by UN/OCHA through the provision of public weather services. It further recalled the backup arrangements through the RSMCs with geographic specialization in the case that the NMS concerned was not able to perform its functions.

8.2 It was noted that UN/OCHA, or its predecessor organization UN/DHA, has so far not invoked the arrangements implemented by WMO. Little or no experience exists as to the suitability or practicability of these arrangements. Without feed back from UN/OCHA, the meeting found it therefore difficult to assess the effectiveness of the arrangements, or to make recommendations for their improvement. Moreover, there was no possibility to assess the implications or the impact of the new measures considered in that context by CBS-Ext.(98).

8.3 WMO had already established a Web Server which contained links to the NMSs and the list of the above-mentioned contact points which has been implemented under the Public Weather Programme and that the RSMC back up access includes under the GDPS programme links to RSMCs web pages. As regards the climate database envisaged by CBS-Ext.(98), the meeting felt that it could not discuss constructively data content and possible access mechanisms as long as there was not a clearer requirement provided from UN/OCHA.

8.4 The meeting recommended therefore, that the existing arrangements be tested and evaluated as regards their suitability to meet UN/OCHA’s requirements, before additional resources of the WMO Members, in particular of the RSMCs who already carry a heavy burden, would be committed.


9.1 The meeting was closed on Friday, 24 September 1999.


Annex to paragraph 5.3.1


(targeted for meteorologists at NMSs)





1.1 The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has designated "Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres" (RSMC) with the specialization to provide atmospheric transport model products for environmental emergency response. This capability is activated and products and services are provided within the scope and arrangements described below.

1.2 The scope of application for this specialization is the provision of modelling products and services for environmental emergencies related to nuclear facility accidents and radiological emergencies, but does not exclude other applications such as related to airborne plumes of volcanic ash, or other emergency situations. Furthermore, atmospheric transport modelling support is provided by the RSMC only when a large scale accident, or release of material, occurs or is likely to occur, and which has resulted or may result in an international transboundary release of significant danger affecting, or originating from, the requesting country.

1.3 The atmospheric transport models (ATM) used for the RSMC function are complex numerical models of the atmosphere which are capable of simulating long-range transport, diffusion, and deposition of airborne tracers or radioactivity in an operational response setting. Outputs from these models are made available within very short turn-around time following a request, for example within at most 3 hours following a request received by the RSMC.

1.4 The request (activation) and response arrangements, in relation to this RSMC specialization, consist of: (1) the identification of a requesting party, (2) the identification of a recipient of the Atmospheric Transport Model products, and (3) a basic set of RSMC actions which are established within the WMO in agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (see Section 4) or agreed arrangements for support for non-nuclear environmental emergency response (see Annex 1).

1.4.1 For the purpose of ensuring the authenticity of a request to activate the RSMC, each Member State of the WMO names one Delegated Authority contact which is the WMO recognized authority of that State to make the request. When the request made by a Delegated Authority is received by the RSMC, the RSMC immediately activates its Atmospheric Transport Model response procedures. The Delegated Authority may or may not be part of the national meteorological service of the Member State. A request for RSMC support does not relieve the requesting State of notification requirements with any relevant international organizations.

1.4.2 The RSMC’s atmospheric transport model products are sent by the RSMC to the national Meteorological Service (NMS) of the WMO Member State. This is done to facilitate immediate and effective meteorological interpretation of the model output products by the requesting country’s meteorological experts for their domestic use. National agencies implicated in emergency response are encouraged to make the required arrangements to ensure the effective use of RSMC products that are channelled through its NMS.

1.4.3 The WMO Member State should provide and maintain an operational contact point within its NMS to the WMO for this purpose.




2.1 The "Regional and Global Arrangements" are designed to ensure that the RSMCs' atmospheric transport model products would be effective for, and immediately available to any Member State, in the context of the defined Scope (parag. 1.2). These Arrangements recognize the collective role of the RSMCs, the coordinating role of the WMO, and the international authority of the IAEA for nuclear events. It is the intention of the WMO to designate RSMCs within each of its six Regional Associations so that the provision of atmospheric transport model products for environmental emergency response can be achieved within each Region under specific Regional arrangements and procedures. However, until such time as this is fully attained for all Regions, Global Arrangements are in place. The "Regional and Global Arrangements" are found in Annex 1.

2.1.1 The up-to-date list of designated RSMCs is provided with full contact information in Annex 2. A regularly updated list is given in the WMO Web Site: In Regions where RSMCs have been designated, the Delegated Authority will direct its request to that RSMC(s) according to specific Regional arrangements and procedures. A Delegated Authority in the remaining Region(s) (i.e. without RSMCs), will direct its request to the RSMC(s) specified in the Global Arrangements (Annex 1).

2.2 When the Delegated Authority or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) makes the request to the appropriate RSMC, it must provide contact information and event related information as indicated on the "Request for WMO RSMC Support by Delegated Authority" form (referred to as the "Request Form"). The language used for the Request Form is determined within specific Regional arrangements and procedures. A sample form is found in Figure 2 and a blank form is attached in Annex 3.

2.2.1 The essential contact information includes: the Status (exercise, requested services, or an emergency notified by IAEA to WMO under the Early Notification Convention (see Annex 1)), date and time of request, published name of the Delegated Authority or IAEA headquarters contact , the country or Agency it represents, its telephone and fax numbers and e-mail, the telephone and fax and e-mail of the operational contact point within the requesting country's national meteorological service where the model products will be sent.

2.2.2 The absolutely essential event-related information includes: the name of the release site, and the geographical coordinates of the release. Other event-related information, if unavailable at the time of the request, will be substituted with standard default values. At any time that new information becomes available, it should be provided to the RSMC with an updated Request Form. The initial model runs will always use the standard defaults for the source (see Section 4) If the information on the time of the release is unknown or uncertain, a default time (00 UTC or 12 UTC) and the date for the release will be used, both to be established through direct consultation among RSMC(s) (see Section 4).

2.2.3 When making a request, the Delegated Authority or IAEA must send the Request Form, at a minimum completed in its first section, to the RSMC. At the same time, the Delegated Authority or IAEA headquarters contact must immediately call the RSMC to confirm the transmission of the Request for RSMC Support. This procedure must be followed in all subsequent updates of new event-related information provided by the Delegated Authority to the RSMC. Confirmation of receipt of the Request (initial and updates) will be provided by the RSMC immediately.

2.3 The RSMC(s) in response to a request for support by the Delegated Authority will produce a default set of basic products from its Atmospheric Transport Model simulation, based on actual and/or default values of input parameters. These basic products are defined and presented in section 4 and in Annex 4.

2.3.1 A text statement in conjunction with the basic products may be prepared and provided by the RSMC(s) to the national meteorological service of the requesting country. The statement would describe the Atmospheric Transport Model outputs in relation to the anticipated atmospheric circulation and weather patterns. The performance of NWP models, on which Atmospheric Transport Model simulation is based, may also be discussed.

2.3.2 Other products based on available data and related to the emergency event may be requested. The RSMC(s) will respond within its operational constraints.

2.4 The Atmospheric Transport Model outputs will be updated and provided when significant new event-related information becomes available. As long as the emergency situation prevails (following IAEA notification of WMO under the Early Notification Convention), the models will be re-run with new meteorological data every 12 hours (00 UTC and 12 UTC data).

2.5 After Notification of an emergency by the IAEA, the set of basic products and the text statement will be sent to all NMSs of the WMO Members in the Region.

SECTION 4: (4.1 - 4.2 (f) include CBS-Ext.(98) updates)


Standards in the Provision of International Services by RSMCs for Nuclear Environmental Emergency Response

4.1 The Delegated Authority requests for WMO Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMC) support for atmospheric transport modelling products by using the form entitled "Environmental Emergency Response Alert - Request for WMO RSMC Support by Delegated Authority". The Delegated Authority then sends the completed form immediately to the RSMCs as per the Regional and Global arrangements.

The designated RSMCs shall implement agreed standard procedures and products by:

(a) The adoption of the following common default source parameters for the initial run of the transport/ dispersion models;

(b) The provision of the following standard set of basic products within two to three hours of reception of a request and according to the general rules for displaying results;

(c) The adoption of the following forecast periods for the numerical calculations;

(d) The adoption of a joint response approach;

(e) The adoption of the general rules for displaying results.

Default source parameters for the initial run

(a) Uniform vertical distribution up to 500 m above the ground;

(b) Uniform emission rate during six hours;

(c) Starting time 0000 UTC or 1200 UTC if not known;

(d) Total pollutant release 1 Bq (Becquerel) over 6 hours;

(e) Type of radionuclide Cs 137.

Standard set of products for initial response

Five maps consisting of:

(a) Three-dimensional trajectories starting at 500, 1500 and 3000 m above the ground, with particle locations at 6h intervals (main synoptic hours up to the end of the dispersion model forecast);

(b)    Time-integrated air borne concentrations within the layer 500 m above the ground, in Bq.s m-3 for each of the three forecast periods;

(c) Total deposition (wet + dry) in Unit Bq m-2 from the release time to the end of the dispersion model forecast.

Forecast periods for numerical calculations

The initial set of products will cover the period from T, the start time of the release, through a forecast of 72 hours from t, the start time of the current output from the operational NWP model.

The first 24-hour period for integrated exposures in the dispersion model will start at the nearest synoptic time (0000 or 1200 UTC) prior to or equal to T. Subsequent 24-hour integrations of the dispersion model will be made up to, but not exceeding, the synoptic time nearest to t+72.

If T is earlier than t, the first response will use hindcasts to cover the period up to t.

Joint response and joint statements

A joint response means that the two collaborating RSMCs shall immediately inform each other of any request received; initially both should produce and send the standard set of products (charts) independently and then move rapidly towards providing fully coordinated response and services for the duration of the response. Following the initial response, the RSMCs shall develop and provide, and update as required, a "joint statement" to describe a synopsis of the current and forecast meteorological conditions over the area of concern, and the results from the transport models, their differences and similarities and how they apply to the event.

4.2 General rules for displaying results

In order to make the interpretation of the maps easier, the producing centres should adopt the following guidelines:

General guidelines for all maps:

(a) Provide labelled latitude and longitude lines at 10° intervals and sufficient geographic map background (shore lines, country borders, etc.) to be able to locate precisely the trajectories and contours;

(b) Indicate the source location with a highly visible symbol (l , s , 6 , Q , n , etc.);

(c) Indicate the source location in decimal degrees (latitude - N or S specified, longitude - E or W specified, plotting symbol used), date/time of release (UTC), and, the meteorological model initialization date/time (UTC);

(d) Each set of maps should be uniquely identified by at least product issue date and time (UTC). And issuing centre

(e) Previously transmitted products from the dispersion model need not be re-transmitted.

Indicate with a legend if this is an exercise, requested services or an IAEA notified emergency

Specific guidelines for trajectories map:

(a) Distinguish each trajectory (500, 1500, 3000 m) with a symbol (s , l , n , etc.) at synoptic hours (UTC);

(b) Use solid lines (darker than map background lines) for each trajectory;

(c) Provide a time-height (m or hPa) diagramme, preferably directly below the trajectory map, to indicate vertical movement of trajectory parcels.

Specific guidelines for concentration and deposition maps:

(a) Adopt a maximum of four concentration/deposition contours corresponding to powers of 10;

(b) A legend should indicate that contours are identified as powers of 10 (i.e., -12 = 10-12). If grey-shading is used between contours, the individual contours must be clearly distinguishable after facsimile transmission and a legend provided on the chart;

(c) Use solid dark lines (darker than map background lines) for each contour;

(d) Indicate the following input characteristics: (i) source assumption (height, duration, isotope, amount released); (ii) the units of time integrated concentration (Bq.s m-3) or deposition (Bq m-2). In addition, charts should specify: (i) "Time integrated surface to 500 m layer concentrations"; (ii) "Contour values may change from chart to chart"; and if the default source is used; (iii) "RESULTS BASED ON DEFAULT INITIAL VALUES";

(e) Indicate, if possible, the location of the maximum concentration/deposition with a symbol on the map and include a legend indicating the symbol used and maximum numerical value;

(f) Indicate the time integration starting and ending date/time (UTC).

The RSMCs will normally provide the products in the ITU-T T4 format suitable for both group 3 facsimile machines and transmission on parts of the GTS. The RSMC may also make use of other appropriate technologies.

Guidance and explanations on models and specific products issued by each RSMC

4.3 Annex 4 presents information about the models and explanations on the specific products issued by each RSMC for the default release scenario.

4.4 A word of caution is needed about the interpretation of the model outputs. The default scenario is based on a hypothetical source as specified in paragraph 4.1 above. For an IAEA notified emergency, the source information may remain unknown. The users should bear these in mind when analyzing the outputs. Although the models are run from high quality NWP models, inherent uncertainties must be considered as a result of the default scenario conditions and the atmospheric conditions. The interpretation of the model outputs must be done with this in mind, given the fact that the source strength and duration are usually not known. The interpretation should be done with the help of an experienced meteorologist having a strong background in synoptic meteorology and also desirably with a background in atmospheric dispersion. For an IAEA notified emergency or when better estimates of the source are available, caution is advised as to the interpretation of the outputs. This being said, model outputs offer the best available guide in a first response situation to the question of long-range atmospheric dispersion and transport of radioactive clouds. Radiological observations should be used as soon as they become available to provide collaborative information with model outputs.

(The whole annex includes CBS-Ext.(98) updates)




In accordance with the IAEA Convention on Early Notification of nuclear accidents, the IAEA shall notify the WMO Secretariat and the RTH Offenbach (Germany). RTH Offenbach will put the EMERCON message on the GTS in the form of an alphanumeric bulletin in plain-text English language under the abbreviated heading WNXX 01 IAEA for global distribution to the NMCs. (see also WMO Manual on the GTS (WMO-Pub. No. 386),

For IAEA notified emergency, the IAEA shall send a timely message to the RSMCs, WMO Secretariat and RTH Offenbach that the IAEA no longer requires emergency meteorological support. RTH Offenbach will put the EMERCON message on the GTS in the form of an alphanumeric bulletin in plain-text English language under the abbreviated heading WNXX 01 IAEA for global distribution to the NMCs.


The RSMCs designated by WMO for the provision of atmospheric transport model products for nuclear environmental emergency response shall:

1. Provide products only when either the Delegated Authority of any country in the RSMC region of responsibility or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA, requests RSMC support. Upon receipt of a request from the delegated authority or from the IAEA, the RSMC shall provide basic information to the national Meteorological Service of that country or to the IAEA respectively.

2. Upon receipt of a first request for services related to a nuclear incident and in the absence of a prior notification by the IAEA inform the WMO Secretariat, all designated RSMCs and IAEA of the request.

3. For an IAEA notified emergency, distribute the basic products to the IAEA and all national Meteorological Services in the region. For a request for services without Notification by IAEA, basic information provided to the national Meteorological Service of the requesting country will not be disclosed to the public in that country nor distributed by RSMCs to other national Meteorological Services.

4. Provide, on request, support and advice to the IAEA and WMO Secretariats in the preparation of public and media statements.

5. Determine the standard set of products and the method of delivery in consultation with users and the IAEA.

6. Provide product interpretation guidelines to users.

7. Provide support and technology transfer to national and regional meteorological centres that want to become designated RSMCs.

8. Make arrangements to provide backup services. These would normally be between the two designated centres in a region. Interim arrangements should be made by centres in regions with a single designated RSMC.


Until such time as new RSMCs have been designated, it is proposed that Regional Association VI-designated RSMCs be responsible to provide services for radiological emergencies to Regional Association I; Regional Association IV-designated RSMCs be responsible to provide services to Regional Association III; while the Regional Association V-designated RSMC, in collaboration with Regional Association IV-designated RSMCs, will be responsible to provide services to Regional Association V.

In cases of radiological emergencies where coordination is required between RSMCs of different regions, the RSMCs of the region where the emergency has occurred will provide this coordination.


If support is required for response to a non-nuclear environmental emergency, related to atmospheric transport of pollutants the Permanent Representative with WMO of the affected country may direct its request for support to the operational contact point of the designated RSMC(s) for its Regional Association.

1. Due to the potentially broad range of environmental emergencies, the RSMC shall consider each request with regard to its capabilities and the suitability of its products to address the emergency requirements and will then respond accordingly.

2. The RSMC shall inform all other designated RSMCs and the WMO Secretariat of the request and the agreed actions.

Annex to paragraph 6.2


(By F.C. Kroonenberg, The Netherlands)


I read the Final CBS Report on Emergency Response Activities, Geneva, 20-24 April 1998. It looks very good and gives a very detailed overview on the necessity of high quality observations on all of the many needed meteorological parameters to make better dispersion calculations. I agree that the best way to collect the needed met-parameters is via a high qualified meteorological observation station very close to the chemical source involved. Looking at the theoretical part of this CBS-report there is not much for me to add comments on, I fully agree on it. However from a more practical view on this subject I might be able to give you some advise.

Our experiences setting up an emergency response organisation on serious chemical accidents

During the last year we have been setting up our own Governmental Emergency Response System on serious chemical accidents in the Netherlands.

One should very well realise that the NMS on it's own is not able to give good advisories towards the responsible authorities in case of a chemical accident

National Meteorological Services should restrict their role to giving only meteorological related advisories. NMSs have good knowledge in providing high quality forecasts on weather parameters. Parameters that are needed within the dispersion models, no matter if they are simple or very sophisticated.

This is one of the reasons that, similar to the Nuclear Emergency Response structures, an organisation structure was set up with technical specialists on a broad range of issues with regard to serious chemical accidents. Therefore we formed a Technical Advisory Team with specialists from many different Governmental Institutes and ministries. In this team knowledge is present about the next topics:

The general structure allows our Emergency Response Organisation to prepare advisories from our own working positions, meaning not really meeting together. We exchange our knowledge and the different specific advisories via a system of conferencing by telephone all together. In addition to this we sent calculation and modelling results via facsimile, in future by a dedicated and protected Internet System (Extranet). The advisories towards the official responsible authorities are made in combining the specific advisories from the individual members of this technical team. In this overall process the Ministry of Environmental Protection (VROM) plays the trigger- and co-ordinating role in serious chemical accidents.

Selecting a suitable dispersion model

One of the first things we needed when we set up our E.R-organisation was a good tool in forecasting the dispersion (position, concentration and health-danger) of the chemical "cloud" that might be released during such an accident. Therefore a project team was formed to select a suitable dispersion model.

One should never forget that the chemical part of the dispersion problem is of very high importance especially within the short distance dispersion area (<10 km). For this reason our project team was formed with people from the National Environmental Institute (RIVM) providing the chemical expertise needed, and with experts from KNMI(one modeller and one operational meteorologist) providing the meteorological knowledge in selecting a suitable dispersion model. We did a lot of research in finding a suitable dispersion model.

At first we made a listing of the needed properties of such a model, with a major limiting condition: We wanted to obtain (e.g. buy) a ready-made dispersion model that was very well commercially supported (for maintenance and future model improvements).

We are very well convinced that the dispersion problem with chemical materials can be separated into two parts closely related to the distance-/timescale involved.

I. Short distance dispersion modelling (up to 10 km's)

The chemical part of the dispersion problem is of major importance compared to the meteorological part of the dispersion problem.

An accurate chemical description of the released materials together with release concentrations and a good description of the kind of release (blast, leak, buoyancy,…) is important to be present within the model. A good and very extensive database on chemical materials and there properties is needed.

Of coarse most of the time it will be difficult the get good insight knowledge on the materials involved during the early stage of a real accident and one should run different prefixed dispersion scenarios.

The meteorological part of the dispersion problem is important, but its role can strongly be simplified in the short distance dispersion model. One can suffice with a dispersion model with a very solid chemical part fed with simple single station meteorological input parameters on surface level:

From these parameters the veering of the wind with height and the increase of the speed with height can be theoretically derived in the dispersion model to add the vertical dimension of the cloud dispersion.

Of course the most reliable way in getting these meteorological parameters is a high quality observation station near the chemical source, if not available one might use a interpolation between close stations or by deriving it from a NWP-model.

In most of the cases a chemical release accident looses it's serious impact on the health outside of this short distance range of 10 km's. Meaning that the above described approach is sufficient enough in most of the cases.

However in case of an extreme severe accident with large concentrations of high toxic materials longer distance dispersion calculations will become important as well with regards to health-risks.

II. Long distance dispersion modelling (> 10 km's)

Within this longer distance dispersion modelling for chemical releases the meteorological part of the dispersion problem gets much more important perhaps(??) even more important than the chemical part of the dispersion problem. Of course also the best chemical description of the source is still needed but one also needs very advanced meteorology within the dispersion model.

A dispersion model using meteorological field information from a very high resolution limited area NWP-model is the only solution. A chemical peel should be included in the dispersion model to describe the chemical behaviour of the source in time.

This long distance approach hardly allows direct input of meteorological source observations within the dispersion model. However if needed (??) a bimodal approach might solve that problem. Meaning that the first part of the dispersion problem could be solved using the simple short distance dispersion model, according to the description given above. The second part of the problem by "picking up" the cloud at a distance of about 10 km's treating it in accordance to the description for the longer distance modelling.

Conclusions by the project team

Selecting a dispersion model in accordance to the description given above was not very easy. As mentioned we did not want to develop a model ourselves. The models that were available on the commercial market were in most cases only models suitable for the short range approach and we were already in possession of such a model. Most of the models also covering the longer distance-scales are models developed and used within research departments of institutes and therefore not user-friendly in operational circumstances due to very complex user interfaces or impossible computer configuration needs. Maintenance support in future was in these cases of course also a real problem. In fact we only found one suitable model suite covering both ranges, but the chemical part of that model was much too poor and development activities in that direction were badly supported. Meaning that at this moment we are still in search, waiting for the "commercial market" to give us an opportunity to buy.

The project team activities are frozen at this moment but we still try to follow the market developments. In the mean time we can only use the short range dispersion model we already possess.






2.1 Approval of the agenda

2.2 Working arrangements for the meeting




5.1 Issues arising from testing and exercises

5.1 Exercises (example INEX planning)

5.2 Update to guidance documentation and operational procedures and arrangements

5.3 Year 2000 mitigation








CANADA Peter CHEN (Chairman)
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Jiqing TAN
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Morrison E. MLAKI
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