GSR Part 7
Preparedness and Response for a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency
GSR Part 7
Preparedness and Response for a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency
1FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION, OECD NUCLEAR ENERGY AGENCY, PAN AMERICAN HEALTH ORGANIZATION, UNITED NATIONS OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, Preparedness and Response for a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency, IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GS-R-2, IAEA, Vienna (2002).
2A ‘nuclear security event’ is an event that has potential or actual implications for nuclear security that must be addressed. Such events include criminal or intentional unauthorized acts involving or directed at nuclear material, other radioactive material, associated facilities or associated activities. A nuclear security event, for example, sabotage of a nuclear facility or detonation of a radiological dispersal device, may give rise to a nuclear or radiological emergency.
3Arrangements set under the Assistance Convention and under the Early Notification Convention  are examples of international emergency arrangements that are relevant for States Parties to these Conventions.
4This also includes the allocation of roles and responsibilities, as appropriate, among members of the government.
5The mechanism for ensuring coordination may differ for different tasks. It may involve an existing body or a newly established body (e.g. a committee consisting of representatives from different organizations and bodies) that has been given the authority to ensure the necessary coordination.
6Examples of sources not under regulatory control are sources that have been abandoned, lost or stolen and sources under governmental control but not under regulatory control. Examples also include radioactive material that is out of regulatory control as discussed in Ref. .
7The Inter-Agency Committee on Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies and its Joint Radiation Emergency Management Plan of the International Organizations are examples of such coordination.
8Examples of such facilities and locations are: scrap metal processing facilities, border crossing points, seaports, airports and abandoned military facilities or other facilities where dangerous sources might have been used in the past.
9This includes consideration of ‘strategic locations’, i.e. locations of high security interest in the State which are potential targets for attacks using nuclear and other radioactive material and locations for detection of nuclear and other radioactive material that is out of regulatory control, in line with Ref. .
10Examples of non-radiation-related hazards are the release of toxic chemicals, e.g. uranium hexafluoride (UF6), fires, explosions and floods.
11Examples of such changes and available information include the movement of irradiated nuclear fuel to a new location, projected flooding, and information on storms or other meteorological hazards.
12The application solely of the reference level for effective dose would not be sufficient to develop the protection strategy. Consideration needs to be given to the particular goal to be met in the response, the time to allow for actions to be taken effectively, and the appropriate dose quantity to be used to ensure that organ doses will be kept below those at which protective actions and other response actions are justified (see para. 4.28 (1)). For example, actions to avoid or to minimize severe deterministic effects are to be taken urgently when projected doses expected to be received within a short period of time exceed those given in Table II.1 of Appendix II for the RBE weighted absorbed dose to a tissue or organ. In this case, if such doses are received, then prompt and appropriate medical actions are necessary. Moreover, selection of a particular value (to be used for optimization purposes and for retrospective assessment of the effectiveness of actions and strategy taken) within the proposed range of 20–100 mSv acute or annual effective dose would depend on the phase of the emergency, the practicality of reducing or preventing exposures, and other factors. In the urgent phase of an emergency, an effective dose of 100 mSv, acute or annual, might be justified as one of the dosimetric bases for implementing and optimizing a protection strategy. In the later phases, such as during the transition, an effective dose of 20 mSv per year may be justified as one of the dosimetric bases for implementing and optimizing a protection strategy to enable the transition to an existing exposure situation to be made.
13The operational criteria (i.e. operational intervention levels) need to be derived for a representative person with account taken of those members of the public that are most vulnerable to radiation exposure (i.e. pregnant women and children).
14Examples of such impacts include possible deaths among patients evacuated without the necessary medical care and possible reduced life expectancy due to resettlement.
15The coordination and integration of arrangements for response to a nuclear or radiological emergency with arrangements for response to a nuclear security event includes coordination with and integration of arrangements for response measures such as identification, collection, packaging and transport of evidence contaminated with radionuclides, nuclear forensics and related activities in the context of an investigation into the circumstances surrounding a nuclear security event.
16This may be the notification point used to receive notification of and to initiate an off-site emergency response to an emergency of any type (conventional, or nuclear or radiological).
17The emergency classes may differ from those specified in (a)–(e) provided that emergencies of all these types are included.
18This class covers broad types of emergency (see Table 1 and paras 4.21 and 4.22). A graded approach may need to be taken when postulating emergencies and expected consequences within this class in order to determine the level of emergency response warranted.
19The emergency classification system is not to be confused with the INES. The INES is a scale developed for use by States solely for the purpose of communicating with the public on the safety significance of events associated with sources of radiation. The INES is not to be used as a basis for emergency response actions.
20Such a notification is in accordance with the State’s obligations under the general principles and rules of international law and, for the case of a transboundary release that could be of radiological safety significance for another State, it is in accordance with the Early Notification Convention .
21A transnational emergency that is considered to represent a public health emergency of international concern may also be expected to be notified in accordance with the International Health Regulations .
22Such actions may include actions with off-site consequences such as discharge of radioactive material to the environment, provided that the appropriate off-site organizations are notified in advance.
23This is not to be understood as diminishing the responsibility of the operating organization to have adequate capabilities to respond to an emergency arising in the facility or activity under its responsibility.
24Although defined under this overarching requirement, emergency planning zones and emergency planning distances are applicable for both urgent protective actions and early protective actions and other response actions. Within emergency planning zones, the main focus is on taking precautionary urgent protective actions, urgent protective actions and other response actions. However, within emergency planning distances, urgent decisions may be warranted, as a precaution, to prevent inadvertent ingestion and to restrict the consumption of food, milk and drinking water that could be directly contaminated following a significant release of radioactive material to the environment and then consumed.
25The off-site emergency planning zones and emergency planning distances may differ from those specified provided that, at the preparedness stage, such areas and distances are designated and arrangements are made to effectively take precautionary urgent protective actions, urgent protective actions and early protective actions and other response actions within these areas and distances in order to achieve the goals of emergency response.
26A significant release of radioactive material is a radioactive release that could lead to severe deterministic effects off the site and thus warrants taking protective actions or other response actions off the site.
27Taking actions within the urgent protective action planning zone in order to reduce the risk of stochastic effects would not mean that no severe deterministic effects could possibly be observed within the urgent protective action planning zone. However, any severe deterministic effects are most likely to occur within the precautionary action zone.
28‘Water supply’ refers to water supplies that use rainwater or other untreated surface water.
29Examples of people with interests in other States include people travelling, people working and/or living abroad, importers and exporters, and people working in companies operating abroad.
30The voluntary basis for response actions by emergency workers is usually covered in the emergency arrangements.
31Such qualified medical advice is intended for assessing the continuing fitness of workers for their intended tasks involving occupational exposure in line with GSR Part 3 . In line with para. 5.59 of this Safety Requirements publication, any emergency worker is to be given appropriate medical attention for doses received. To illustrate this, the generic criterion for dose that is received (100 mSv effective dose in a month), as provided in Table II.2 of Appendix II, will indicate that an emergency worker receiving such a dose needs to be registered and subjected to health screening and that the emergency worker will then need appropriate longer term medical follow-up in order to detect radiation induced health effects early and to treat them effectively.
32These instructions include advice that universal precautions in health care against infection (e.g. surgical masks and gloves) generally provide medical personnel with adequate protection when treating individuals with possible contamination.
33Such arrangements for medical consultation on treatment could include international assistance to be provided through or to be coordinated by the IAEA and by WHO; for example, under the Assistance Convention .
34Actions beyond those emergency response actions that are warranted include, but are not limited to: actions that interfere with prompt implementation of protective actions, such as self-evacuation both from within and from outside areas from which evacuation is ordered; actions that unnecessarily burden the health care system; actions that shun or otherwise discriminate against people or products from an area affected by a nuclear or radiological emergency; elective terminations of pregnancy that are not radiologically informed; and cancellations of commercial flights that are not radiologically informed.
35Typically, the involvement of operating organizations and local, regional and national response organizations is documented as part of the appropriate facility, local, regional and national emergency plans.
36Critical response functions are functions that must be performed promptly and correctly in order to classify, declare and notify an emergency, to activate an emergency response, to manage the response, to take mitigatory actions, to protect emergency workers and to take urgent protective actions on and off the site.
37A concept of operations is a brief description of an ideal response to a postulated nuclear or radiological emergency, used to ensure that all those personnel and organizations involved in the development of a capability for emergency response share a common understanding.
38An example of such limitations is that the timing and magnitude of radioactive releases in an emergency at a nuclear power plant that would warrant taking precautionary urgent protective actions and urgent protective actions off the site before, or shortly after, a radioactive release may not be predictable. In addition, the radioactive release could occur over several days, resulting in complex deposition patterns off the site.
39Emergency response facilities may be collocated (i.e. these functions may be performed from a single emergency response facility or location) provided that it is ensured that they do not conflict with each other in performing their specified functions and provided that they are separated from the control rooms.
40Arrangements for analyses could include, for example, arrangements for performing analyses of environmental and biological samples as well as analyses of other samples taken from the facility for the purpose of assessing its operational status.
41Examples of international appraisals include those organized by the IAEA, such as Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV) missions.
1Criteria established as 1/5 of the generic criteria for the early protective actions and other response actions given in Table II.2 are considered to be generically justified. This is of the order of the dose for which the government is required to establish an action plan to reduce activity concentrations for sources of exposure (e.g. 222Rn) for existing exposure situations . Being at the lower bound of the reference level for emergency exposure situations (see para. 4.28 (2)), this level is also consistent with the reference levels established in GSR Part 3  for both emergency exposure situations and existing exposure situations.
2Actions taken (see para. 4.29) to reach the generic criteria in para. II.15 need to be justified and optimized in accordance with Requirement 5. However, it may not be feasible to reach these criteria for enabling the transition to an existing exposure situation. If it is not feasible or justified to reach these generic criteria, the transition may still be possible as long as the generic criteria for early protective actions and other response actions given in Table II.2 are not exceeded.
Tags applicable to this publication
- Publication type:General Safety Requirements
- Publication number: GSR Part 7
- Publication year: 2015