Rapid intervention force to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear emergencies on the Danube River.

Priority axis no. 3: A safe region
Specific objective 3.1: To improve joint risk management in the cross-border area

Project summary

To rapidly and efficiently manage the chemical-biological-nuclear emergencies (CBRN) on the Danube river, the Romanian-Bulgarian emergency authorities are setting up in the cross-border area a joint intervention rapid force, D-EMERSYS, resulting from inter-connection of 2 specialized units, the on-the water reaction unit provided to Romanian emergency authorities and the on-the land support unit provided to Bulgarian emergency authorities.

Both units will act coordinated under the command of the authority from the country where the intervention is taking place.

The core of on-the-water reaction unit are 3 rapid CBRN intervention boats equipped with capabilities for in-situ detection of contaminants and devices for decontamination of floating structures and fire-extinguishing/ contaminant cloud dispersal. The land-based unit comprises 5 specialized mobile CBRN platforms provided with capabilities for analyses of CBRN toxic elements from water, soil and air, as well as with devices for decontamination of both intervention personnel and technique. Further specialized analyses of contaminants will be performed by a new “environmental forensic” laboratory set-up by NIMP.

The project will also deliver the training for intervention personnel and will prepare the tools required by the legal framework for the operationalization of D-EMERSYS, establishing a strong partnership on Danube river CBRN emergency response, for the benefit of population and environment.


Common territorial challenges

Contamination with chemical, biological, or nuclear materials of Danube can cripple transportation and economic systems and, if not contained, can have an irreversible impact on environment and inhabitants. The presence of industrial and nuclear facilities along Danube and the river-transport increase for hazardous materials challenge the emergency authorities from Romania–Bulgaria cross-border area.

The frequency of emergency situations requiring specialised CBRN intervention has increased in the last 5 years, commiting authorities from both sides of the border to build-up the resources necessary to cope with on-the-river response for life-saving and assets and environmental safeguarding.

Responding in a quick and appropriate way to emergencies ranging from oil spills to burning barges with haz-mat cargos, requires specialized training, equipment, and protective gear to safely enter contaminated areas or hot zones. The intervention forces are responsible to rapidly identify and characterize the emergency, while performing rescues in the contaminated areas and confinement of contamination, simultaneously with technical decontamination. Thus, an effective intervention requires use of both specialized on-the-water capabilities and land-based units.

The added-value of this project, resides in creating a single intervention force at the disposal of authorities from the cross-border area, merging capabilities from both sides of the border in an economically efficient solution