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EPR-Public Communications L-01

EPR-Public Communications L-01

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EPR-Public Communications L-01

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  1. EPR-Public CommunicationsL-01 Case Studies

  2. Learning objectives • Review past nuclear and radiological emergencies that have been of public and media interest.

  3. Chernobyl accident – Overview • Unit 4 reactor on April 26th, 1986; • Low power test with safety systems bypassed; • Sudden uncontrollable power surge; • Temperature increased; • Violent explosion and 1000 tonne lid blown off; • Fuel, core components and other debris were released into the environment.

  4. Chernobyl – Dose ranges (workers) • 134 of the 600 emergency workers showed signs of Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS)

  5. Goiânia, Brazil (1987) • Goiânia: the capital of Goiâs State, Brazil; • Population: approximately 1 million; • The emergency happened in a poor section of the city, in an old abandoned radiotherapy facility. Goiânia Rio de Janeiro São Paulo

  6. Goiânia, Brazil (1987)

  7. Goiânia – Abandoned radiotherapy clinic

  8. Goiânia – Monitoring people for contamination • Established area for public monitoring; • Public found out through rumours - no public announcement made; • Many people (unnecessarily) – 112,000 went to be monitored; • Strained limit resources.

  9. Goiânia – City contaminated Significant contamination 0.5 km

  10. Goiânia – City contaminated • 730 workers; • Houses: • 41 evacuated; • 6 demolished. • Public places decontaminated: 58.

  11. Goiânia – Communicating with the public • No early public announcements were made; • People found out about the emergency by rumours; • This increased public concern and confusion about what actions they should take.

  12. London polonium incident • On 3 November, Mr.Litvinenko was admitted to a north London general hospital with vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain; • His condition deteriorated and he was transferred to a specialist hospital in London; • Mr.Litvinenko said to a broadcast interviewer: “I had defected from a foreign security service and I had been poisoned.”

  13. Police requested the assistance of their scientific advisers and the HPA in identifying what could have caused the clinical picture. Mr.Litvinenko had a significant quantity of Po-210 in his body! HPA indicated that an intake in excess of 1 GBq of Po-210 would have been required to explain the clinical course. London polonium incident

  14. London polonium incident – Public health response strategy • HPA developed key objectives for the public health response: • To prevent further exposure of the public: • work closely with the police to aid their criminal investigation and identify sites and individuals that might be contaminated; • develop an environmental monitoring strategy to support this; • assess and advise on public access and remediation of contaminated sites. • To assess risks to those potentially exposed: • develop and implement risk assessment criteria; • offer, implement and report on personal monitoring though urine analysis. • To provide advice and reassurance to those exposed and the general public.

  15. Polonium contamination • More than 40 locations (hospitals, hotels, offices, restaurants, bars, transportation) were identified that had to be monitored and assessed; • HPA co-ordinating the monitoring programme using resources from several organisations across the UK; • At the peak there was 70 monitoring staff working in shifts.

  16. London polonium incident – Public health response 1 • On 25 November, HPA requested to the media asking members of the public who were in specific potentially contaminated locations in a specified period to call NHS Direct (a 24-hour National Health Service helpline); • A questionnaire was used to assist the collection of key information from callers.

  17. London polonium incident – Public health response 2 NHS Direct : 3,837 calls questionnaire HPA follow-up : 1,844 Public Health Team Assigned to each of the main locations and site specific risk assessments and questionnaires developed to identify those at risk and requiring monitoring using an alpha spectrometry technique on 24 hour urine samples. Clinical Assessment Team Triaged individuals identified from any source who reported symptoms which could be associated with radiation effects, or were seriously concerned.

  18. London polonium incident – Individual monitoring programme • HPA developed a monitoring technique and protocols; • Urine samples from 752 persons: • 139 individuals above reporting level; • The highest assessed dose was for the family member caring for Mr.Litvinenko at about 100mSv. • 664 individuals from 52 countries and territories were also monitored: • 13 individuals above reporting level.

  19. London polonium incident – Communicating with the public and media • HPA announced in the first press conference on 24 November: • Test on Mr.Litvinenko had detected a significant quantity of Po-210; • The nature of alpha radiation and how Po-210 was only a hazard it if was ingested inhaled or absorbed through wounds; • The proactive monitoring that was being carried out at the locations identified by the police. • HPA released press statements each day in the weeks as well as responding to thousands of media calls and ensuring the website was up-to-date with information.

  20. TEPCO’s Fukushima-Daiichi Accident • Biological effects • Acute and/or late • Environmental effects • Psychological effects • Social problems • Economical

  21. TEPCO’s Fukushima-Daiichi Accident “Internal Contamination Induces Brain Damage - from Chernobyl Experience” “20 years later in Japan, Malformation, Curious Illness, Mental Retardation”

  22. TEPCO’s Fukushima-Daiichi Accident People are confused?! What is good ? What is wrong ? “Information on Radiation Effects” based on their own ideas “Many Experts”