Events at nuclear facilities

Under the Nuclear Energy Act, licensed operators of nuclear facilities are obliged to promptly report 'events' to the ANVS.

What is an event?

An 'event' is an untoward circumstance or incident that is relevant to the safe operation of the facility. It may involve a technical fault or a human error. Exceptionally serious cases may involve the following things happening or the potential for them to happen arising:

  • The release of radioactive material
  • An abnormal rise in the normal release of radioactive material
  • A rise in the radiation level at the site boundary
  • The unintended escape of radioactive material from the facility

The precise reporting obligations vary, depending on the seriousness of the event. Serious events must be reported very quickly, often within eight hours. More time – up to four weeks, for example – is allowed for reporting less serious events. Other events, such as the minor contamination of surfaces or equipment and technical or organisational irregularities that have no immediate operational or nuclear safety implications, merely have to be documented in quarterly, biannual or annual reports.

The reporting criteria, the nature of the events that require reporting and the associated reporting periods are defined for each nuclear facility individually.