New emergency and planning zones are introduced around Swedish nuclear power plants
In accordance with the proposal of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, the Swedish Government has decided on new emergency planning zones and emergency planning distances for activities involving ionizing radiation. This means that Swedish nuclear power plants will be surrounded by a precautionary action zone (PAZ) and an urgent protective action planning zone (UPZ) as well as an extended planning distance (EPD), extending approximately 5, 25 and 100 kilometres respectively. The changes are important in order to improve the feasibility of implementing effective protective actions in the event of a nuclear accident.
In 2017, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, in consultation with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, the County Administrative Boards in Uppsala, Kalmar, Hallands, Södermanland, Västmanland and Skåne counties, as well as Lund Municipality and the Region South Fire and Rescue Service, presented a report to the Swedish Government in which the authority proposed that the emergency planning zones and distances for activities involving ionizing radiation should be changed. The Government has now adopted a new Civil Protection Ordinance (2003:789), which means that the emergency planning zones and distances for nuclear facilities are to be changed in accordance with the proposal of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.
“It’s good that the emergency planning zones and distances are being changed and that the issues identified in the 2017 report are being addressed. It will improve the possibilities of implementing effective protective actions in the event of a nuclear accident,” says Jan Johansson, a specialist at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.
An inner and an outer emergency planning zone extending approximately 5 and 25 kilometres respectively will be introduced around each of Sweden’s nuclear power plants. Within these emergency planning zones, iodine tablets will be pre-distributed, warnings for the public in the event of a nuclear accident will be pre-planned, and plans for evacuation and sheltering will be put in place. It shall be possible to prioritize evacuation of the inner emergency planning zone ahead of evacuation of the outer emergency planning zone. An extended planning distance extending approximately 100 km will also be introduced around each of Sweden’s nuclear power plants. Within these extended planning distances, planning will be put in place for relocation based on input from measurements of ground deposition, sheltering, and limited distribution of ITB.
“This means that once the emergency planning zones and distances have been fully implemented, Sweden will fulfil international requirements on nuclear preparedness for these activities, while also taking into account lessons learned from the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi,” says Jan Johansson.
The new emergency planning zones and distances are to be implemented in Swedish contingency planning no later than 1 July 2022. This means that the County Administrative Boards, which are responsible for emergency services in the event of a nuclear accident, must update their contingency planning in accordance with the requirements of the new Civil Protection Ordinance (2003:789). The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority will provide the necessary support. The authority will also procure and stock iodine tablets, review emergency classes at nuclear power plants, develop a national strategy for radiation measurements, procure and deploy new mobile dose-rate instruments within the nuclear emergency response, and adapt the decision-support diagrams and information provided to decision-making authorities in the event of an accident to the new emergency planning zones and distances.
For more information, please contact: Jan Johansson, SSM specialist, via the authority's press office, tel. +46 8 799 40 20.