The National Commission for Nuclear Activities („CNCAN”), Societatea Națională Nuclearelectrica SA („SNN”) and the governmental authorities playing a role in managing the emergency situations will coordinate a national exercise for nuclear emergency response, between 4 and 6 of October 2016 named Valahia 2016.
The objectives of the Valahia 2016 exercise aim to:
- Test the nuclear and radiological emergency response plans and the interfaces between various emergency response organizations;
- Test the relations and cooperation instruments (e.g. protocols, response procedures, etc.) of the attending organizations and the implementation thereof;
- Test of all duties, responsibilities, capacities of the organizations participating in the exercise and their integration in the National System for Management of Emergency Situations;
- Identify the current best practices, the deficiencies and areas requiring improvement.
The preparation for emergency situations is a standard practice in the nuclear field. Nuclear emergency situations response exercises are frequently performed by the nuclear power plants operators and regulatory bodies, involving the responsible local and national authorities, in order to continuously improve the emergency response, to correctly inform the public and to ensure all safety measures in the unlikely event of an emergency.
During the Valahia 2016 exercise, a nuclear emergency caused by an accumulation of internal factors (technical emergency on site) and external ones (major natural events) will be simulated, with gradual increase during the period of the exercise, based on a confidential scenario in order to integrally test the emergency response of all institutions involved. The exercise and the answer of all national and local authorities involved in its development will be evaluated by a team of international experts on the basis of certain evaluation criteria applicable to national and international level in such tests.
The following main response functions will be evaluated, for which the inter-institutional coordination plays a major role in achieving the successful targets:
- Notification information flow and the operational flow;
- Protection of population and workers;
- Scientific and technical data sharing;
- Ensuring effective medical response;
- Leading the organizations in the process of communication and information.
The organizations playing a role in the Valahia 2016 exercise are the following: CNCAN, SNN, Cernavoda Municipality, Constanta Prefecture, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests, Ministry of Transports, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Emergency Hospital of Bucharest and the Command Operational Center of the Government.
“The purpose of this exercise is to primarily show us the vulnerabilities related to the national response capacity in the event of a radiological emergency. As a result of this exercise we want to test in particular the response capabilities of the institutions with prerogatives and responsibilities in emergency management nationwide. We want to improve responsiveness, procedures, cooperation between institutions, operational and informational flow,” said Mr. Raed Arafat, Secretary of State.
“The nuclear safety is the absolute priority of Nuclearelectrica. Simulation of such drills is an internationally common practice in the nuclear field and it is one of the most effective ways to test a possible nuclear emergency management. The purpose of this drill is to continuously improve the integrated emergency response, the internal verification procedures, especially the interoperability at national level. Globally, no CANDU reactor ever faced events that endanger the personnel, population and environment, being one of the most secure and robust nuclear reactors in the world, but such tests are an integral part of the checking and improvement process. Nuclearelectrica will play an active role in the drill, involving both the Emergency Control Centers on site and off site, and the head office for testing the information flow. The excellent operation is maintained and is based equally on regular testing procedures and internal response plans, constant communication and information of the population and of entities involved, interrogative attitude and continuous improvement. All these are a standard way of working, for us” said Daniela Lulache, CEO of SNN.
“In the event of a nuclear emergency, CNCAN role, as a regulatory body, is to ensure the control of nuclear activities in any context and to implement related measures in accordance with the responsibilities of the institution and the legislation. Organizing the Valahia 2016 drill is a natural process of direct testing of CNCAN capabilities, observation of correlation level and functionality of the response system at national level, assessing during and after the drill all parameters tested and also to propose corrective measures, if appropriate. This is a specific work for all regulators and an effective measure of control and pro-active assessment. We are interested in obtaining relevant and objective data on which we can improve continuously. The regulator’s effectiveness lies in the correct diagnosis in a proactive manner,” said Gabriel Petre, President of CNCAN.
Valahia 2016 is part of the international program Norway Grants of the Norwegian Government, in cooperation with the Norwegian Authority for Radiation Protection.
During the drill, the mass-media will have no access in the public areas of Cernavoda. Under the legislation in force (art. 105, 183 paragraphs (1) and (2) and 186 of GD 585/2002), the access of media representatives on CNE site – for taking pictures and/or shooting – can be done only with prior approval from ORNISS .