Meteorological observers assisted in a successful two-day emergency exercise involving 58 states and 10 international organizations 20-21 November 2013 to test the national and international preparedness to respond to a simulated dirty bomb explosion. The exercise, codenamed “Bab Al Maghrib” was held in Morocco and organized by the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA). It marked the first time such scenario was exercised on such a large and international scale.
“Bab Al Maghrib” is part of the ConvEx-3 IAEA exercise programme. ConvEx-3 exercises are conducted every three to five years and have, until now, always been based on an accident at a nuclear power plant. The scenario this year was different: a dirty bomb explosion with threats of further attacks and widespread radiological consequences.
In the emergency scenario, there were two simulated successive explosions of RDD (Radiological Dispersion Devices), as dirty bombs. They took place in the port of Tangier Med and Marrakech medina in Morocco and triggered a series of ‘actual’, ‘potential’ and ‘perceived’ implications for the participating governments and responding international organizations.