National emergency system
Organización nacional ante las emergencias
Nuclear and radiation emergencies can give rise to situations with a serious risk of exposure of the public to ionising radiation. For this reason, Spanish legislation obliges the licensees of these installations and the public authorities to have emergency plans to guarantee the protection of the public in the event of an accident.
The standards issued in our country for nuclear radiation emergencies are:
• Basic Nuclear Emergency Plan (PLABEN), which applies to nuclear emergencies in nuclear power plants in operation.
• The Basic Directive on Civil Protection Planning against Radiological Risks, which applies to radiological emergencies originating in facilities and activities that use nuclear and radioactive materials, excluding nuclear power plants.
• Basic Directive on Civil Protection Planning against the Risk of Accidents in Road and Rail Transport of Hazardous Goods, applied to all types of dangerous goods transport, including class 7 materials – radioactive materials.
These rules and regulations set the criteria for planning, preparing for and responding to any nuclear or radiological emergency.
The response to these emergencies is structured on two levels:
• The on-site response level involves plans focused on reducing or mitigating the consequences of accidents at their origin. Their preparation and application is the responsibility of the licensee of the facility in which the accident occurred and is supervised by the Nuclear Safety Council.
• The off-site response level involves the plans aimed at avoiding or at least reducing as far as possible the adverse effects of ionising radiation on the public and its property. This objective is the joint responsibility of the licensee and the public entities and organisations with competences and functions regarding the protection of the public against nuclear and radiological risks.