Required standard for Level 3 Emergency Response Role Training
- Date released
- 3 April 2013
- Request number
- Release of information under
- Environmental Information Regulations 2004
The current Government policy for dealing with the effects of a nuclear accident in the United Kingdom is detailed in Arrangements for Responding to Nuclear Emergencies which is attached to our email. It describes the current arrangements for dealing with the effects of a nuclear accident in the United Kingdom and provides information on emergency plans for accidents occurring at fixed nuclear installations or during transport which might result in the release of radioactivity.
This publication was published in 1994 and pre dates the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 (REPPIR) and the formation of ONR. (We have changed references below from NII to ONR to reflect the current organisation).
There are 3 levels of exercises:
Level 1 exercise is the on site exercise undertaken by the licensee to demonstrate compliance with Condition 11 of the Nuclear Site Licence issued under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 (as amended).
According to the publication Arrangements for Responding to Nuclear Emergencies:
- Para 53 states:
The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) requires all employees at nuclear installations who could be involved in an emergency to be trained for their tasks and to be involved in regular exercises to ensure appropriate team performance. In addition to these training exercises, ONR require regular demonstration exercises at each site. Such exercises, known as Level 1 exercises, are witnessed by ONR, and this is one of the means whereby ONR assesses the effectiveness of the arrangements, training and resources of the operators for dealing with emergencies.
- Para 54 states:
Level 1 exercises mainly concentrate on the operators' actions on and off site and may not always be based on a scenario involving an off-site release. Such exercises may involve the emergency services and other external organisations. The extent to which the off-site facility is activated varies according to the needs of the operator or as required by ONR. The timing and scenario of the exercise have to be agreed with ONR.
- Para 55 states:
In addition to the Level 1 exercises which focus mainly on the operators' arrangements, there are programmes of exercises to rehearse the function of the off-site facilities and the wider government involvement. These are known as Level 2 and Level 3 exercises respectively.
- (These exercises are now a test of the off-site plan prepared under Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001 (REPPIR). Regulation 10 of REPPIR requires a test of the emergency plan at suitable intervals not exceeding 3 years.)
- Para 56 states:
The aim of the programme of Level 2 exercises is to test the function of each off-site facility once every 3 years. Each such exercise requires the operator to staff the off-site facility and provides an opportunity for agencies with responsibilities or duties to take part and exercise their function as appropriate. This includes the Government Technical Advisor (GTA). ONR, in addition to exercising its own emergency duties, provides staff for the GTA team and observers to assess the operator's role and the broad function of the emergency plan. A wide range of government departments and agencies usually take part in such exercises.
- Para 57 states:
The Level 3 exercise is a national exercise and, in addition to testing the setting up and operation of the off-site facility, includes the exercising of the various government departments at their headquarters and at the Nuclear Emergency Briefing Room or Scottish Government Resilience Room, and the interactions between the various centres. The exercise may last more than one day and is chosen from the programme of Level 2 exercises once per year.
The level 2 and 3 exercises are an opportunity for the multi agency teams to determine the adequacy of the off-site plan and the response to the plan. Each organisation will set its own objectives for testing during the planning phases and a report is produced with lessons learned from each exercise to assist in improvements to the off-site plan.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change has also issued some guidance. Please see the Nuclear Emergency Planning Liaison Group, Consolidated Guidance, Chapter 6 Exercise Assessment.
ONR staff undertake training in support of emergency responses. There are 3 training courses:
- Crisis Management Course
- Evaluator Course (to support the evaluation of Level 1 exercises)
- Refresher training course
PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable