Although nuclear reactors today boast better safety features than they did in previous decades, there are several government and industry guidelines that staff must adhere to. Employees and contractors who work on the site of these facilities need to be aware of what steps to take in the unlikely event of a serious emergency involving the reactor. Because of this, reactor owners take important steps to guarantee the safety of their staff and those living near the facility.
Safety Always Matters
Nuclear reactors are designed to withstand many natural and other disasters. However, it is vitally important for those involved with the operation of the facility to be aware of how to respond to any possible threats at all times. RSI safety drills are one example of the ways that reactor operators demonstrate a commitment to safety.
An Evolving Safety Process
One thing that many who aren’t in the nuclear industry are unaware of is how quickly industry-wide standards may have to change. September 11 and other terrorism-related incidents have made many realize how important it is for the staff working at a nuclear reactor facility to be able to shut down quickly. The Fukushima Daiichi disaster also made more people realize how quickly a natural disaster can bring about a devastating event.
Planning Affects Areas Outside the Plant As Well
The safety precautions taken at plants also affect an area within a 10-mile radius, beyond the plant itself. Some of the scenarios that employees can expect include sheltering in place or evacuations. On-site safety training involves giving employees a thorough knowledge of these procedures.
Understanding Classification Levels and Responses
There are four distinct classification levels for emergencies, depending on the severity of the situation. These levels range from unusual events that are unlikely to be life-threatening to radiation releases. Although serious emergencies are rare, safety training and drills address these situations well.
The Life-Saving Role of Emergency Training
Mandated emergency drills every two years play a major role in keeping employees at nuclear plants safe. Another crucial part of the safety training involves preparing first responders who may have to treat those injured during a nuclear emergency. All of this comprehensive training helps keep nuclear power safe to use.