Simulation of a serious accident at the Ascó nuclear power plant

The Ascó nuclear power plant (Ribera d'Ebre) has carried out the mandatory annual drill, in accordance with the requirements established in its Internal Emergency Plan (PEI), with the participation of the Emergency Response Organization (ORE) of the Security Council Nuclear (CSN).

The action of the regulatory body has been developed both from the Emergency Room and from the Operational Coordination Center (CECOP) of Tarragona, monitoring the actions of the licensee for the recovery of safety conditions and for the adoption of security measures. radiation protection.

The exercise began at 9:30 a.m. with the declaration of an "Emergency Prealert" due to a fire lasting more than ten minutes that would have affected unit II. Subsequently, the total loss of external electrical supply has been simulated, which would have affected both units. Throughout the day, it was also simulated that a firefighter involved in extinguishing the fire would have been injured and taken to the plant's medical service.

In unit II, the accident would have worsened after the loss of both emergency diesel generators and the subsequent automatic shutdown of the plant. In addition, an emission of effluents to the outside has been simulated with values ​​higher than normal due to a break in the main steam line and due to the degradation of the reactor's cooling.

Given the simulated situation, the CSN has recommended to the CECOP establishing access control to the facility, confining the resident population belonging to zone I (10 km around the plant) and the evacuation of the population from zones I and IB (five kilometers around the plant) as well as the preparation of prophylaxis.

During the financial year, the licensee has come to declare category IV (general emergency) of the Internal Emergency Plan and to carry out the evacuation of personnel not necessary for emergency management. For its part, the CSN has activated all members of the support groups of the Emergency Room of its Emergency Response Organization (ORE).

An event of this nature would have been classified as level 4 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) since it would have had local consequences.

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