Safety is our number one priority. Nuclear power stations are highly regulated in all security and safety matters. Our safety standards are rightly very high and our emergency arrangements are rigorously planned and rehearsed.
There are three main obligations:
We have a moral duty to protect both personnel on site and the public. We must have robust emergency plans and demonstrate them to the outside agencies and the public.
Under the Nuclear Installations Act, Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999, Radiation Emergency Preparedness and Public Information Regulation (REPPIR), we must ensure safe operations by preventing accidents happening and make arrangements to respond to an emergency should one occur.
A successful company is also a safe company, so it is in our interest to make very effective emergency arrangements that can respond to accidents to manage business continuity effectively.
To meet these obligations, the approach we use combines EDF Energy's own expertise with the coordinated national approach of the emergency services, local authorities and Government agencies.
EDF Energy has four priorities to protect in an emergency:
- Firstly the public
By alerting off-site organisations of any countermeasures necessary to protect the public and providing information prior to and during an emergency event.
- Secondly, personnel on site
By ensuring that personnel are adequately protected and accounted for.
- Thirdly, the environment
By monitoring the environment in and around the affected site.
- And finally, the plant
By dealing with any plant damage and returning the plant to a safe state.
EDF Energy performs a regular programme of emergency exercises to test its procedures, facilities, systems and equipment, and enable everyone to practise their role in an emergency. Emergency exercises are also the main way that we demonstrate the effectiveness of our emergency arrangements to the regulator and external agencies.
There are three main types of regulatory exercises, which have evolved in the nuclear industry: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. These regulatory exercises vary in the involvement of organisations locally and nationally.
Emergency response role training is an important part of the emergency exercises and ensures each member is confident in their role and the tasks that they would be required to carry out in an emergency. Each role has a number of key training modules to be completed. Each shift working team completes emergency response role training once a year as part of the training programme.
A Level 1 exercise involves all station staff, visitors and contractors and will take up to six hours to complete. This type of exercise takes place annually and demonstrates existing emergency arrangements to the Office for Nuclear Regulation.
A Level 2 exercise demonstrates how the Strategic Co-ordination Centre (SCC) and the Central Emergency Support Centre (CESC) deal with the off-site implications of an emergency. A Level 2 exercise involves the CESC, SCC, Media Briefing Centre, the emergency services and other external organisations and will occupy at least a full working day. A desktop exercise in the site Emergency Control Centre (ECC) drives a Level 2 exercise, and these take place every three years for each SCC.
A Level 3 exercise involves all the organisations in a Level 2 exercise, but also includes full Government departmental involvement. These exercises may occur over several days and may move into the recovery phase of the emergency.
EDF Energy is required by the Office for Nuclear Regulation to have suitable emergency arrangements for dealing with incidents involving irradiated fuel transport flasks
RADSAFE exercises are a demonstration of the effectiveness of emergency arrangements for a possible flask transport incident. RADSAFE exercises are generally joint exercises involving EDF Energy, the emergency services and local and national agencies to exercise the RADSAFE response tnta flask transport incident. Training days are held to link in all the responders who would be involved in such an exercise. EDF Energy is looking to be involved in RADSAFE exercises at least once a year.
For more information, visit the RADSAFE website.
Informing the public
EDF Energy has an open information policy regarding emergency arrangements through consultation groups such as the Local Community Liaison Council, Local Liaison Council and Site Stakeholder Group
An important issue of the emergency arrangements is to inform local residents of actions that should be taken should a nuclear emergency arise at one of our nuclear power stations. The Radiation (Emergency Preparedness & Public Information) regulations 2001 (REPPIR) places a requirement on EDF Energy to warn and inform the local residents of the risks and required action in an emergency.
EDF Energy produces calendars each year for residents within a specified radius of its nuclear power station. All emergency advice is held on the reverse of the calendar and designed to be easily located should an emergency arise. The aim is to give as much information as possible including the local radio stations and television channels to tune in to, and advice on action depending on factors such as a resident’s location.
Initial advice is similar to any civil disaster:
The advice given to local residents includes detailed information on the actions which should be taken, including information on potassium iodate tablets, and further useful information should evacuation measures be undertaken.
- Emergency calendar advice - Dungeness (PDF)
- Emergency calendar advice - Hartlepool (PDF)
- Emergency calendar advice - Heysham (PDF)
- Emergency calendar advice - Hinkley Point (PDF)
- Emergency calendar advice - Hunterston (PDF)
- Emergency calendar advice - Sizewel (PDF)
- Emergency calendar advice - Tornes (PDF)
During an emergency event the local and national radio and TV media would play an important role in conveying information to the public regarding the ongoing situation. The co-ordination of the multi-agency response to the media forms an important part of the local authorities’ off-site plan. These arrangements are tested during Level 2 and Level 3 exercises.