Presentation of the new emergency response plan (PIU) in the event of a nuclear accident

On 21 October 2014, the Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, the Minister of Health Lydia Mutsch and the Minister of Home Affairs Dan Kersch presented the new emergency response plan (plan d'intervention d'urgence, PIU) for nuclear accidents adopted by the Council of Government on 15 October 2014.

This governmental plan is also accompanied by three concrete steps that aim to inform the population, raise its awareness and prepare it for a possible crisis situation:

  • Launch of the portal,
  • Campaign to pre-distribute potassium iodide tablets,
  • Update to the brochure 'What to do in the event of a nuclear alert?'.

Emergency response plan (PIU)

The new emergency response plan (PIU) in the event of a nuclear accidentdefines the actions the government will take in a nuclear or radiological accident by establishing alert procedures, crisis management bodies and preventative, protective and emergency measures for the population.

The accidents that the plan aims to manage are those that cause or could cause large quantities of radioactive materials to be released into the environment and which could pose a risk to public health. The draft plan was optimised following the 3-in-1 cross-border nuclear exercise organised at Greater Region level in 2012 and 2013.

With the aim of getting the draft plan finalised and approved by the Council, it was presented to a series of stakeholders involved in the different levels of its implementation.

The emergency response planplans for four main preventive and protective measures for the population:

  • taking shelter,
  • taking potassium iodide tablets,
  • temporary evacuation and housing in reception centres,
  • restrictions and protection of food supplies.

The plan also distinguishes between the different phases of a nuclear accident:

  • the emergency phase and
  • the post-accident phase.

The first includes a threat phase and a release phase, and the second a transition phase and a long-term consequence management phase. The old plan's division into yellow, blue and red phases has thus been replaced.

This plan also provides for a primary planning zone from the Cattenom nuclear power station:

  • to a 15 km radius in the event of evacuation,
  • to a 25 km radius in the event that potassium iodide tablets need to be taken and the population needs to take shelter.

To avoid having to rush distribution of potassium iodide tablets, the new plan provides for a supply of tablets to be distributed to the Luxembourg population in normal times.

The pans details the crisis management structure as stated in the document on the functioning of the Senior Council for National Protection and the Crisis Cell, approved by the Council of Government on 18 July 2014.

Three concrete actions

The Luxembourg government attaches great importance to the protection of the population in the event of a nuclear accident. Managing a nuclear crisis involves the whole population an awareness of the actions and conduct to adopt as well as of the protective measures taken by the authorities will make the crisis easier to manage.

The purpose of the actions of the Luxembourg authorities is therefore to inform the population, raise its awareness and prepare it for such an eventuality.

Launch of the website

This is the official Luxembourgish government website for providing information and communication in the event of a crisis. This tool will be used to communicate all of the authorities' decisions and actions in an emergency situation.

Campaign to pre-distribute potassium iodide tablets

The emergency response plan makes the provision for potassium iodide tablets to be distributed to all the country's residents as a preventative measure. The first preventive distribution campaign took place in October/November 2014. Each resident received a personalised letter containing information on this distribution enabling them to obtain one bottle of tablets from the commune in which they live, or from the pharmacy of their choice.

School establishments and childcare facilities have a stock of tablets in case of need. The parents of all newborns are given one box of tablets per child at the maternity hospital. Furthermore, the municipal authorities keep a sufficient quantity of tablets in stock to guarantee an additional distribution in the event of a nuclear accident.

Businesses have the option of ordering a supply of tablets via the portal

Update to the brochure 'What to do in the event of a nuclear alert?'

The aim of the brochure is to present a condensed and understandable overview of all the alert procedures and protective measures provided for in the emergency response plan. It is available in several languages (German, English, French, Luxembourgish and Portuguese) and will be made available to all residents when the potassium iodide tablets are distributed.

The brochure can also be downloaded in the different languages available from the portal

Social network presence

The Luxembourg government also has a Twitter account (infocriseLU, tweet @inforcriseLU) which it can use to inform the population of an emergency situation.

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