Extension of the off-site emergency plans around the french nuclear power plants. New information campaign: 19 NPPs and 2.2 million persons concerned
Changes to the protection arrangements for persons around NPPs
The extension of the radius of the Off-site Emergency Plan from 10 to 20 km, decided on by the Government, aims to optimise the response by the authorities, raise the awareness of the public and prepare them for the eventuality of a nuclear alert.
This extension concerns 2.2 million people and more than 200,000 buildings open to the public spread among 1,063 municipalities.
A campaign of information and preventive distribution of iodine tablets has thus been launched for residents and heads of buildings open to the public within a 10 to 20 km radius around the 19 French NPPs.
A two-stage information and awareness-raising campaign for the local residents
The information campaign began on 3 June with a nominative letter sent out to all local residents announcing the inclusion of their municipality within the new perimeter of the PPI and the distribution of iodine tablets in September 2019.
This campaign will continue in September, with the sending of a second nominative letter, containing a voucher enabling the persons and establishments concerned to collect their iodine tablets from a participating pharmacy.
This campaign aims to:
- Develop a radiation protection culture among the general public.
- Make individuals and buildings open to the public aware of the need to collect the iodine tablets from pharmacies.
- Encourage a high level of participation in the collection of tablets from the pharmacies.
Throughout the campaign, a website (www.distribution-iode.com) and toll-free phone number (0 800 96 00 20) are available to the public.
In order to organise this campaign, the Ministry for the Interior is coordinating a pluralistic steering committee consisting of representatives of ASN, the Ministries for National Education and Health, the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), the National Council of the Order of Pharmacists, the National Council of the Order of Physicians, the national association of local information committees and commissions and EDF.
A campaign implemented by actors in the field
The campaign is implemented locally by the Prefects, with the assistance of the regional health agencies, the ASN regional divisions, the EDF NPPs, the mayors, local information committees, pharmacists and general practitioners in the zones concerned.
Information meetings have been organised for the attention of mayors and health professionals. Communication tools: information brochures, leaflets presenting the Off-site Emergency Plan, posters detailing the reflex measures in the event of a nuclear alert, were also sent out to them.
A desire on the part of the Government in line with the recommendations of the European authorities
The Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, in 2011, led the authorities to revise the population protection measures, in line with international practices and the recommendations from the European nuclear safety and radiation protection authorities. The expansion of the planning zone is not linked to an increase in the nuclear risk, but makes it possible to improve information and protection of the public as well as the reactivity of the emergency management stakeholders, notably through the deployment of the Local Safeguard Plans.
What is an Off-site Emergency Plan?
The PPI is a system defined by the State to deal with the risks inherent in the existence of an industrial facility and protect persons, property and the environment.
This plan determines the protection measures and the corresponding emergency response resources liable to be deployed in the event of an accident. The Off-site Emergency Plan is part of the département level civil security emergency response organisation. If a nuclear event were to occur and were liable to have consequences off the site, the Prefect would take over control of the operations.
Each of the 19 French NPPs has its ownOff-site Emergency Plan.
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