Management of the long-term consequences of a nuclear accident: the Codirpa publishes its latest recommendations to the Government

Published on 17/10/2022 at 10:37

Information notice

In order to consolidate national strategy regarding the management of the long-term consequences of a nuclear accident, in 2005 the Prime Minister tasked a pluralistic committee, the Codirpa (Post-accident phase steering committee) with submitting proposals to the Government.

This committee – chaired by ASN – notably includes technical experts, representatives of the State’s services, members of the CLIs and the ANCCLI, associations and elected officials.

Following the publication of its first recommendations in 2012, the Codirpa continued its work in order to learn lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi accident and national emergency exercises, to incorporate the latest scientific and technical advances in the measurement and modelling of the dispersal of radioactivity in the environment, as well as to take account of changes to national and international regulations.

A new post-accident doctrine

The latest Codirpa recommendations for managing post-accident situations have been compiled in a guide. In 2021, they were proposed to the Government - which accepted the principles they contain - and are intended to underpin the forthcoming changes to national emergency planning.

The main changes relate to the strategy for protecting the population against environmental contamination, which has been expanded to take greater account of the risks linked to the ingestion of contaminated foodstuffs and which has been made more transparent and operational, with a graded approach to protection of the population. A summary of the new protection zoning principles is provided in a booklet.

These recommendations were tested during emergency exercises carried out in 2021 and 2022 concerning four nuclear sites, and include proposals from panels of citizens with the support of the ANCCLI and the CLIs of Golfech, Tricastin, Paluel-Penly and Dampierre-en-Burly.

Priority given to informing the public

At the same time, the Codirpa continued its work to produce guides and information tools, to better prepare for the management of such a situation and reinforce the radiation protection culture of those people in the vicinity of nuclear facilities. After the website, placed on line at the beginning of 2020, and which proposes information per population category (local elected officials, national education, health personnel, economic players, association members), a Guide for the inhabitants of areas contaminated by a nuclear accident was published in June 2020. This Guide was used on various occasions (CLI meetings, national exercises, meetings with the public) to enhance awareness of the nuclear risk.

To enable health professionals to answer questions from their patients following a nuclear accident, a Q&A Guide for health professionals was also published in early 2022. This Guide ushered in a new working method for the Codipa working groups, which consisted in identifying the expectations of the target public and then creating the corresponding content. The 200 questions compiled in this Guide were thus proposed by the health professionals working in the vicinity of the Civaux NPP, with answers then being proposed by a group of ten experts.

This awareness-raising and preparation work among the local stakeholders is an integral part of the Codirpa’s goals of disseminating a safety and radiation protection culture around nuclear facilities. In this respect, several members of the Codirpa will be mobilised during the national resilience day on 13 October 2022.

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Date of last update : 07/11/2022