On 24 and 25 March 2014 the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) was held in The Hague. RIVM was present to support in emergencies involving hazardous substances and suspicious objects, and in food incidents.

Calamities with hazardous substances or unidentified substances

RIVM is always ready to provide support during calamities involving hazardous or unidentified substances. During the NSS, RIVM was ready to support fire-fighters, regional health services (in Dutch: GHOR) and the national police force (in Dutch: KLPD) with a field team in The Hague. The specialist team was prepared with a mobile laboratory and a radiological measurement vehicle to perform field measurements and perhaps field sampling. Fixed measurement points for radiation were placed at various sites in The Hague.

RIVM is able to measure hazardous substances in the air, calculate their dispersion and estimate the risks they hold on site. In the event of a suspicious object with increased radiation or with unidentified substances, RIVM will investigate the matter. The team on site sends the data collected back to RIVM in Bilthoven for further analysis. There an office team collects the data, interprets it, models and translates it into usable information for the authorities. If necessary, the sample can be transferred to one of the other expertise laboratories in the Netherlands that have been united toghether with RIVM, in a Laboratory Network

Food incidents

In incidents where several people become ill from food, RIVM also comes in to action. Guided by GGD and NVWA, RIVM tests the food for high risk substances that could explain the symptoms.

Mobile Chemical-Biological Laboratory

The MCBL is an advanced mobile laboratory. In the event of accidents and attacks this facility makes it possible to determine much faster whether chemical, biological or radioactive substances are involved, and what these substances are. Hence a quicker and more effective deployment of the national response organisation is possible. The mobile chemical-biological laboratory is built into a 19 metre long truck trailer. The unit is fitted with measurement and analysis techniques in a protected environment that meets the strictest safety rating, bar one. The MCBL is one of the most advanced mobile laboratory facilities of its kind in that it allows a sample of a suspected substance to be analysed simultaneously in two different analysis processes: biological and chemical. This results in a significant saving in time.