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EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS in INDIAN NUCLEAR POWER REACTORS. By. Dr. M. C. ABANI. Senior Specialist, National Disaster Management Authority Ex. Head, Radiation Safety Systems Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Email:mcabani@gmail.com (Lecture at INS Summit 29-09-2011). VISION. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS in INDIAN NUCLEAR POWER REACTORSDr. M. C. ABANI BySenior Specialist, National Disaster Management AuthorityEx. Head, Radiation Safety Systems Division,Bhabha Atomic Research CentreEmail:mcabani@gmail.com(Lecture at INS Summit 29-09-2011)

  • **Our National Vision is to prevent nuclear and radiological emergencies, which are essentially man-made in nature. However, in rare cases of their occurrence, due to natural or man-made factors beyond human control, such emergencies will be so managed through certain pre-planned and established structural and non-structural measures by the various stakeholders, as to minimise risks to health, life, livelihood, property and environment.VISION

  • National Disaster Management Authority Paradigm Shift in Approach to DM From the earlier reactive approach wherein focus was primarily on response and relief to now on prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Now it is Proactive and Holistic approach.

    Primary objective: Mainstreaming of DM into the Development Process. Create a Culture & ethos of Preparedness & Prevention across the country

  • *The factors that can cause an accident leading to an emergency

    Human ErrorMachine/System FailureNatures FurySabotage or Terrorist Activity

  • **

    i) Outstanding Safety Records at Nuclear Facilities About 140 major radiation related accidents, that have taken place worldwide during the period 1960 to 2005, resulted in about 150 fatalities attributable to radiation a number which is quite small, though not desirable, compared to the yearly fatalities of more than 5000 in coal mines accidents or 1.2 million deaths in automobile accidents.

    ii) Public Perception Not Commensurate with Ground Reality Inspite of such outstanding safety records, due to lack of awareness, education and dissemination of authentic and credible information, any small accident in nuclear facility is most often linked by the public erroneously though, only to the events like that at Hiroshima and Nagasaki or Chernobyl.


  • **

    iii) Nuclear and Radiological Emergency/Disaster Possible Scenario

    Due to inherent safety culture, the best safety practices and standards followed and effective regulation by the AERB, chances of a nuclear/radiological emergency arising in a nuclear/radiation facility are extremely low. However, nuclear emergency can still arise due to factors beyond the control of the operating agencies e.g., human error, system failure, sabotage, earthquake, tsunami, cyclone, flood, etc that may still lead to an on-site or an off-site emergency.



    It is said that the safety margins in reactor design are so large that an aeroplane designed on such safety margins will never be able to fly.

  • **Objectives of the National Guidelines:To formulate the National Guidelines which, when converted into Action Plans and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by the concerned stakeholders at various levels of administration, will assist to prevent the occurrence of such emergencies in a holistic way, without diluting the actions on the other components of DM continuum. This will call for:either strengthening of the existing nuclear/radiological DM framework; or establishing of new framework wherever not existing

    To get ready in advance proactively, with a view to ensure a fast, effective and caring response capability to cope with any nuclear or radiological scenario in a seamless coordination at various levels of administration.


  • **Objectives of the National Guidelines:

    (iii)Various pre-planned and established structural as well as non-structural measures spelt out in the guidelines will lead to:

    Prevent, to the extent possible, the occurrence of such events leading to severe deterministic health effects on the workers and the public or risk to the environment and to.

    Limit, to the extent practicable, the occurrence of stochastic health effects on members of public.


  • ** To achieve these goals, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with the help of experts from the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), NPCIL, Armed forces and DRDO has prepared the National Guidelines to handle both nuclear and radiological emergencies in public domain.

    Genesis of the Present Guidelines:

    These National Guidelines prepared and released after the concurrence of DAE as well as AERB. NUCLEAR & RADIOLOGICAL EMERGENCIES - GENESIS

  • **A Possible Emergency Scenario:

    An accident taking place in any nuclear facility of the nuclear fuel cycle, including the nuclear reactor, or in a facility using radioactive sources, leading to a large scale release of radioactivity in the environment. Examples are accidents at TMI, Chernobyl, Fukushima etc.


  • **Four Pronged Strategy for a Holistic Management viz:

    (i) The framework to be supported on prominent mainstays like prevention, mitigation, compliance of regulatory requirements, preparedness, response etc where prevention is assigned highest priority;

    (ii) The existing legal framework to be strengthened through various legal and regulatory means, wherever required;


  • **Four Pronged Strategy for a Holistic Management viz:

    (iii) The framework is to be institutionalized through:Creation of NDMA at National Level, under Chairmanship of the Prime Minister of India;Creation of State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs), under the Chairmanship of Chief Ministers;Creation of Districts Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs), under the Chairmanship of District Collectors/Magistrates, with elected representative as the Co-Chairpersons. Local authorities to also deal with mitigation, preparedness and response.(iv) The framework will be implemented by strengthening the existing action plans, or by preparing new action plans, wherever required, at national, state and district levels.NUCLEAR & RADIOLOGICAL EMERGENCIES APPROACH


  • *3 Cs the Golden Rule of Reactor Safety

    Controlling the reactor powerCooling the fuelContaining the release of radioactivity into the public domainThere is no threat to public safety as long as 3Cs are controlledthe 3Cs are essential under all operatingconditions:- at all power levels- during normal operation, shutdown or upset

  • *Containment

    Last line of defence against releases

    If CONTROL and COOLING fail, resulting in fuel failures, public safety dependsabsolutely on CONTAINMENT integrity

  • For the purpose of the assessment of the situation emergencies are classified as

    IN-PLANT EMERGENCY confined to the plant area.

    2. ON-SITE EMERGENCY spread to outside plant perimeter fence and poses hazards to other facilities nearby. Exclusion distance 1.6 Km.

    3. OFF-SITE EMERGENCY - magnitude of emergency is such that it is likely to affect areas beyond 1.6 km exclusion distance in public domain.

    EXCLUSION ZONE - Radius of 1.6 Kms STERILISED ZONE - Radius of 5 Kms EMERGENCY PLANNING ZONE (EPZ) Radius of 16 Kms


  • **1.Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB): PRESENT STATUS

    AERB is the Nuclear Regulatory Authority in the country which, as per the Atomic Energy Act (1962), has the mandate for:

    (i) Issuance of licenses to nuclear and radiological facilities and (ii) Ensuring compliance with the applicable standards and codes.

    It does not permit operation of a new or existing nuclear power plant or a radiation facility, until the preparedness plans are in place for the postulated emergency scenarios.


  • *Prevention Assigned Highest Priority at NPPby adopting the best available technologies and practices to build and operate all engineered systems, during the entire lifecycle of the facilities with strict compliance with the regulatory framework of AERB andby following the defence-in-depth approach to build all safety systems based on diverse working principles with adequate redundancy.

    *NUCLEAR & RADIOLOGICAL EMERGENCIES PREVENTION All Indian nuclear power plants havethe 5 levels of defence incorporated.

  • *2.1 Physical Protection against Terrorist Attack and Sabotage in Nuclear FacilitiesElaborate physical protection systems and in-built structural barriers and safety systems of the nuclear facilities reduce such vulnerability. However, emergency scenario arising from terrorist activity or sabotage activity by disgruntled elements can not be totally ruled out.


  • **Barriers to Release of Radioactivity



  • Emergency Preparedness for Nuclear Facilities

    In case of the nuclear facilities, a proper emergency plan should be prepared which is able to provide a reasonable assurance that appropriate measures will be taken to prevent damage to the MAN, MACHINE and the ENVIRONMENT. The emergency preparedness plan should comprise of the following actions:

    A quick and reliable monitoring methodology to detect the onset of an emergency situation.Rapid and continuous assessment of the accident situation as it proceeds.Should be able to respond quickly and mobilise resources at a short notice.Prior intimation to be provided to the members of the public likely to be affected. contd.

  • v) Procedure for communicating to the various First Responders viz., Fire fighting, Police, Medical, Civil Defence and other agencies.vi) Identification of the conditions which may lead to intervention.vii) Intervention levels for the protective action.viii) Iodine prophylaxis.ix) Action levels for withdrawal and substitution of specific supplies of food and drinking water, for temporary relocation of the exposed persons.x) Initiation of the countermeasures at the earliest.xi) Assistance to the affected group of people- providing, shelter, food, water, clothes and medical help.

    Initiation of the recovery phase at the proper time.

  • * High Level of Emergency Preparedness

    Based on severity of the emergencies, detailed emergency response plans are in place at all the nuclear facilities and are functional during entire life time of facility.

    To cope with an off-site emergency, if any, detailed response plans are put in place by the Collector of the concerned district in coordination with the plant authorities;

    Additional monitoring and response support coverage is being enhanced through Emergency Response Centers (ERCs);

    The Crisis Management Group (CMG) of DAE activates the emergency response and coordinates with other agencies for any nuclear/radiological emergencies.NUCLEAR & RADIOLOGICAL EMERGENCIES-PRESENT STATUS

  • Present System Needs Strengthening in the Areas of: (State Governments have major role to play in many of these activities)

    Specialised Response inadequate to cope with any major nuclear/radiological event. Trainers to Train the First Responders, (senior staff members of para-military forces) trained by BARC & NPCIL so far and the training facilities need considerable augmentation. Induction of Civil Defence Personnel, Home Guards and Police Force as the first responders, in addition to the specially trained teams of NDRF, will be usefulCivilMilitary Co-ordination to be comprehensively developed so that the services of the select groups of armed forces may be called for, to augment the coping capability of the civil administration,. during any major nuclear accident.


  • **Present System Needs Strengthening in the Areas of:

    Intervention Levels (for Rescue and Relief Operation by the first responders) and Action Levels (for Control of contaminated Food Consumption in the affected area) should be made available.Development of GIS-based Emergency Preparedness needed for effective response to any emergency.Additional Emergency Response Centres (ERCs), over and above the BARC network, to cope with the radiological emergencies in the area. Augmentation of Inventory of Monitoring Instruments & Personal Protective Gear for the first responders.


  • **Present System Needs Strengthening in the Areas of:

    Dedicated & Reliable Communication Network (e.g., National Disaster Communication Network), with adequate diversity and redundancy with special emphasis on the last-mile connectivity during emergency.

    Possible Places of Shelters and Provision of Hygiene Facilities in vulnerable areas and nearby towns are to identified and plans for their conversion to shelters, with proper hygiene, within reasonable time-frame are to be kept ready.

    Alternate Sources of Food & Water have to be identified in advance and included in the plan (to avoid contaminated food and water).


  • **Present System Needs Strengthening in the Areas of:

    Network of Adequate Transport Vehicles and Good Motorable Roads along the evacuation routes.

    Trained Medical Professionals, (their numbers and capability to work under radiation environment and to treat radiation injuries) and the medical facilities are highly inadequate to handle large scale radiation injury cases in the country.

    Community Development- Due to the fact that one cannot see, feel or smell the presence of radiation, coupled with lack of credible and authentic information on radiation and radiation emergencies, even a minor nuclear incident is invariably linked with sad memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a fact that has been further aggravated by the wide publicity given to nuclear reactor accidents at TMI and Chernobyl. NUCLEAR & RADIOLOGICAL EMERGENCIES GAP ANALYSIS

  • **

    Training, Mock Drills and Emergency ExercisesQuality of preparedness to be ensured through regular training of the various first responders by the CBRN-trained NDRF trainers and the administrative personnel to be ensured. The QRMT/MFR team will form part of the regular mock drill/simulation exercise/table top exercise.


  • COUNTERMEASURES: A number of countermeasures are available

    ShelteringRadio-protective ProphylaxisRespiratory ProtectionBody ProtectionEvacuationPersonal DecontaminationControl of AccessFood ControlRelocation, andDecontamination of Areas.

  • Even if power generation in nuclear power plant is shut down, due to any reason, there is continued generation of considerable amount of heat (known as decay heat), produced by decay of radioactive fission products).

    The amount of such decay heat is 7% of the thermal power (at which the NPP was operating before it tripped and it decays as follows.*Fukushima Accidents : Im...


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