A key component of the mission of the NNR is to ensure adequate protective actions are in place to protect the health and safety of the public. Protective actions are taken to avoid or reduce radiation dose and are sometimes referred to as protective measures. Operators of nuclear facilities are required to develop and maintain effective emergency plans and procedures. The NNR inspects licensees to ensure that they are prepared to deal with emergencies.
The overall objective of Emergency Preparedness (EP) is to ensure that the nuclear power plant operator is capable of implementing adequate measures to protect public health and safety in the event of a radiological emergency. As a condition of their license, nuclear installation licensees must develop and maintain EP plans that meet comprehensive NNR EP requirements. Increased confidence in public protection is obtained through the combined inspection of the requirements of emergency preparedness and the evaluation of their implementation.
The NNR maintains oversight of the capability of nuclear installation licensees to protect the public by conducting thorough inspections and it also assesses the capabilities of the licensees to protect the public by conducting full-scale exercises at least once every two years which includes the participation of government agencies and relevant roleplayers. These exercises are performed in order to maintain the skills of the emergency responders and to identify and correct weaknesses. The NNR also participates in periodic emergency drills which are conducted by the licensees.
The NNR requires nuclear installation licensees to establish a public safety information forum for the purposes of sharing information on nuclear safety and emergency preparedness with members of the public. For this reason the Koeberg nuclear power station and the Necsa Pelindaba and Vaalputs sites convenes quarterly forums qhihc are attended by members of the public, the NNR and relevant roleplayers involved with emergency planning and response. The NNR hosts a VIP Observer programme which is attended by representatives from key stakeholder groups including civil society.
In modern societies it is necessary to plan for all eventualities – chemical, industrial, nuclear, and others and to ensure that if the unlikely occurs, everything possible is done to minimise damage and avoid injury. This is the major reason for having an emergency plan and the need for Disaster Management organisations. A very serious emergency at Koeberg could, at worst, result in a release of radioactive material. This radioactive material would be blown downwind from the station and dispersed.
A team consisting of members from Eskom, the local authorities, and other support organisations are available around the clock to handle any emergency at the power station. In the unlikely event of an emergency at Koeberg, Eskom will notify the City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management immediately. Eskom will recommend appropriate protective actions to the relevant authorities. Representatives of National, Provincial and Local Government will authorise the appropriate protective actions to be implemented. Emergency response personnel and resources from all three spheres of government will carry out these actions.
There are three levels of emergency:
1. Alert – the first level
An alert is declared when an event has occurred that could reduce the level of safety of the plant, but backup plant systems will still function. Local authority officials are notified and response facilities are established on a standby basis.
2. Site emergency – the second level
In a site emergency, a problem with a safety system has occurred, or is likely to occur. Local authority officials are mobilised at this stage in preparation for the possibility of a more serious situation.
3. General emergency – the third level
A general emergency is the most serious but most unlikely emergency situation. Radioactive material could be released beyond the plant site boundaries. Local authority officials will take action to protect residents living near the plant. People in affected areas will be advised via the public notification system to stay indoors and shelter or to evacuate.
5km radius area
If you live within 5km of the power station you will be warned immediately via the public notification system in the area. Evacuation instructions will be issued via the public notification system, Good Hope FM, Kfm and local SABC television channels. This area will be constantly monitored for radiation during a general emergency and suitable steps will be taken to protect you.
16km radius area
It is highly unlikely that the entire area within the 16km radius surrounding Koeberg will be affected by a release of radioactive material during a general emergency. The radioactive material would travel downwind from the power station. This material will be monitored constantly and you will be warned if the area in which you live may be affected.
Routine Siren Test
The sirens are routinely tested on an annual basis. You will be notified in advance of these tests. Kfm and Good Hope FM will also broadcast announcements whilst these tests are being conducted.
The news media
At any level of emergency the news media will be fully informed by Eskom and the head of Disaster Management of the areas concerned.
Travelling by car
If you have a car, you should use it if you are instructed to evacuate. If you can, take neighbours who don’t have transport with you. Follow the route given to you over the radio to travel to the assembly points shown on the back of this calendar. Refer to the Evacuation Routes Map in the centre of this calendar. Familiarise yourself with this map. Identify which zone your house is situated in, as well as where the nearest evacuation routes are to your home. Drive carefully, stay calm and obey all traffic regulations, for your own and others- safety. There will be traffic officers along the route to assist you. Traffic will be directed in order to avoid vehicles driving through the affected areas.
Travelling by bus
Specially arranged buses will transport you to the assembly points. They will travel along normal bus routes at regular intervals. If you do not have transport, please go to the nearest bus route, where you will be picked up. In areas where there are no bus routes, radio announcements will inform you of where to meet the special busses and taxis which will be operating in these areas.
Children at school
Your school-going children will be well cared for. Disaster Management personnel will be in constant contact with local schools. If necessary, scholars will be evacuated to another school outside the affected area, where arrangements will be in place to care for the children and keep them in contact with their parents/guardians.
Friends or family
If possible, please travel to friends or members of your family who live anywhere outside the affected areas.
If you cannot travel to family or friends outside the affected areas, you need to travel to an assembly point as shown on the back of this calendar. The location of this assembly point will be decided by factors such as the wind direction, and the availability of the assembly point on that particular day. From these points you will be directed to a mass care centre. Mass care centres will provide you with meals and a place to live while you are away from home. The sick and elderly will be cared for by trained medical staff, who will also be able to provide medicines. Note: potassium iodate tablets, which protect the thyroid against radioactive iodine will be provided by the Disaster Management organisations when and where necessary.
If a major incident happens at Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, the Department of Agriculture will issue periodic information concerning the safety of using homegrown products.
To protect your livestock
In case Necsa’s Telkom land lines are not working, please dial: 083 639 0366 / 082 806 3611
Please see this Emergency Procedure for instructions in other languages.
Emergency planning and preparedness is concerned with that sequence of events where the well-established standards, rules, regulations, and procedures governing the use of radioactive materials and the normal operation and maintenance of a facility are no longer being satisfied. It spans a somewhat uncharted area between the point of departure from controlled use and operation and the subsequent return to controlled conditions, a period during which compliance with normal rules may no longer be achievable and when it may be necessary to make emergency decisions in which the risks taken to avoid a particular adverse consequence must be balanced against those that might prevail if avoiding action were not taken.
For convenience we can summarize the two main aspects of emergency planning and preparedness under the following headings:
Radiological emergency planning, which is concerned with the development and preparation of emergency plans to mitigate the consequences to public health and safety, or to the environment, in the event of a radiological accident.
Radiological emergency preparedness, which encompasses the training of all persons who will be involved in implementing the emergency plans, the acquisition of resources and facilities, and the testing of emergency plans and procedures by means of drills and exercises to ensure effective response in the event of a radiological emergency.
The general objectives of emergency planning are to;
It is essential that effective emergency preparedness procedures, together with plans for their implementation, are drawn up by those organizations that will need to apply them and that they are prepared well in advance of the facility commencing operation, particularly those related to the facility operator’s organization. Similarly, and in consultation with the operating organization, those sections of the public authorities at local, regional, and national level who may need to respond in the event of an accident must ensure that they produce emergency preparedness arrangements appropriate to their own response commitments. The input from each of these participating organizations should then be integrated into an overall national emergency plan and response infrastructure. This is an essential prerequisite for ensuring that co-ordinated remedial actions can be taken in the unlikely event of an accident having potential offsite radiological consequences.
Emergency: A non-routine situation or event that necessitate prompt action, primarily to mitigate a hazard or adverse consequences for human health and safety, quality of life, property or the environment. This includes nuclear and radiological emergencies and conventional emergencies
Emergency Plan: A description of the objectives, policy and concept of operations for the response to an emergency and of the structure,
Emergency Preparedness: The capability to promptly take actions that will effectively mitigate the impact of an emergency on persons, property and the public
Emergency Response: The performance of actions to mitigate the impact of an emergency on persons, property and the environment
Exercise: An evaluation of major portions of emergency response capabilities. An exercise tests the integrated capability of the emergency response organisation, to identify weaknesses that could affect the emergency response to an actual emergency.
Occurrence or succession of occurrences having the same origin and resulting in an unintended unauthorized exposure to radiation or release of radioactive material, which is capable of giving rise to an effective dose in excess of 1mSv to the public off-site in a year; or in excess of 50mSv to a worker on site received essentially at the same time of the event, is regarded as a nuclear accident as defined in section 1(xiii) of the Act.
Any unintended event which is reasonably capable of giving rise to an effective dose equal to or in excess of 0.1 mSv to the public off site essentially at the same time of the event, or the unintended spread of radioactive contamination or exposure to radiation, which could reasonably give rise to an effective dose in excess of 20mSv to a worker on site received essentially at the same time of the event, or significant failure of safety provisions, is regarded a nuclear incident as defined in section 1 (xvii) of the Act.
VISION, MISSION AND VALUES
Eco Glades Office Park
Eco Glades 2Block G
Witch Hazel Avenue
Highveld Ext 75
Telephone: +27 (12) 674 7100
Facsimile: +27 (12) 663 5513
12 Raats Drive
Delphi Arch Building
P.O. Box 46055
Telephone: +27 (21) 553 9500
Tel: +27 (12) 674 7120 (during response)
Fax: 086 742 6038