2018:22e ESS research facility Basis for emergency preparedness and response planning


Northeast of Lund, Sweden, in the area of Brunnshög, is the site of European Spallation Source ERIC (ESS), a research facility that is under construction. When the facility (hereinafter frequently referred to as “ESS”) is commissioned, a linear accelerator will supply protons to a rotating target of tungsten, whereupon neutrons are generated through spallation. Radioactive materials will be generated in the target and in surrounding components when they are irradiated by protons and neutrons.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) decided on 25 April 2018 to have the ESS research facility classified in emergency preparedness category 2. Consequently, in the assessment of SSM, events may occur at ESS involving a release of radioactive materials warranting urgent protective actions for the population outside this facility; however, the risk of severe deterministic effects posed to people off-site can be ruled out. Thus, due to this decision, SSM is of the view that it is warranted to have emergency response planning in place for the population surrounding the ESS research facility.

For the purpose of enabling effective protective actions, it is suggested by SSM to have an urgent protective action planning zone (UPZ) established with a range of approximately 700 metres around ESS. The final design of this UPZ to surround the ESS facility should be adapted to prevailing conditions surrounding the site, as well as approved by Lund Municipality prior to ESS being taken into routine operation. The UPZ should have planning in place for effective implementation of the protective action of sheltering. In addition, it is recommended to carry out pre-planning of systems and procedures for warning the population.

Outside the site of ESS, SSM has assessed that no ground deposition can occur in connection with emergencies that justify the similar emergency planning distance proposed by SSM to surround Swedish nuclear power plants and the interim spent fuel storage facility at Oskarshamn.

Note: The report was originally published in Swedish on 18 October 2018 (report no. 2018:22).