PRESS COMMUNIQUÉ
Paris, 2 November 1998

 

Nuclear Energy Agency To Sponsor An Extesive International
Nuclear Emergency Exercise In Hungary


On 3 November 1998, the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD/NEA) will sponsor an extensive international nuclear emergency exercise simulating an accident at the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary. The 32 countries participating from Eastern and Western Europe, Asia and North America, will follow their actual national emergency response plans and procedures, using their actual emergency response centres. All relevant international and bilateral agreements will be followed by participants.

This will be the third in a series of international exercises (INEX 2), involving specific Member country nuclear facilities. The previous exercises took place in Switzerland, in the autumn of 1996, and in Finland in the spring of 1997.

The objective is to assist participating countries to exercise their emergency response programmes, specifically:

-to test the communications systems that would be used in a real emergency for notification and exchange of information;

-to test decision-making on countermeasures in the early phase of an accident based on incomplete or uncertain information; and

-to test the communication of information to the public in nuclear emergency situations.

The accident exercise at the Paks nuclear power plant, will involve a simulated release of radioactive material. Actual weather conditions at the time of the simulated accident will be used to predict the trajectory of the radioactive cloud as it leaves the power station, and all participating countries will use their national meteorological services, as well as the resources of the World Meteorological Organisation, to predict the deposition or radioactive materials. The Paks plant is a Russian designed VVER 440 nuclear reactor, and the accident will be simulated at one of the four units at the site. Some 47 VVER reactors operate at present in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.





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