Netherlands unprepared for nuclear disaster: Safety Board
The Netherlands is not well prepared for accidents happening in a nuclear power plant, the Dutch Safety Board concludes in a new report on Wednesday. The Netherlands needs to work with Belgium and Germany and properly coordinate their crisis plans and crisis management, according to the Board, ANP reports.
The Safety Board states that the chance of a serious nuclear accident is small. "But if a nuclear accident actually occurs, it will probably not go well." The three countries need to improve their crisis plans, practice aid programs together more often, and coordinate which measures need to be taken and the communication thereon, the Board advises.
The Board notes that the Netherlands hasn't made any agreements with Belgium and Germany about joint-decision making in the event of a nuclear accident in the border region. And the agreements that were made on crisis communication take too little account of differences in language and culture.
In the event of a nuclear accident, the population in the vicinity of the nuclear power plant must be protected against radiation. But according to the Dutch Safety Board, preparations to do so differ per country. "As a result, there is a risk that residents on one side of the border will receive different instructions than those on the other side of the border. This can lead to confusion and unrest among the population."
The Safety Board launched this study following concerns from people living in the Netherlands' border regions about the number of incidents in nuclear power plants, particluarly the Doel plant in Belgium. The Board therefore also advises the Dutch authorities to pay more attention to concerns in society about a possible nuclear disaster.