This is another area of research that has grown considerably following the Chernobyl accident. This was in direct response to weaknesses experienced in the emergency arrangements at national, regional and international levels during that crisis. This was particularly apparent in the handling of cross-border communications and co-ordination of activities. The focus of European research has been and continues to be improving the efficacy and coherence of emergency management.
Major advances have been made in this area but much more remains to be done. Comprehensive decision support systems for emergency management and restoration have been developed and are finding increasing use in emergency centres. In the future greater emphasis will be given to demonstration as opposed to research projects. In particular this will concentrate on the demonstration of new decision support tools in operational centres. Improvements will also be sought in the longer term management of contaminated areas, in particular through the broader involvement of stakeholders in optimizing countermeasures in both rural and urban environments.