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Nadja ZELEZNIK: "Main challenges of public informa on in emergency preparedness in Europe"


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Nadja ZELEZNIK: "Main challenges of public informa on in emergency preparedness in Europe"


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Nadja ZELEZNIK: "Main challenges of public informa on in emergency preparedness in Europe"

  1. 1. Main challenges of public information in emergency preparedness in Europe Adressing the requirements on public information in EP&R from BSS Directive (Articles 70 and 71) Luxembourg, 1st December 2016 Nadja Železnik, Regional Environmental Center (REC), Slovenia Chair of WG EP&R of Nuclear Transparency Watch
  2. 2. 2 Introduction  Aarhus Convention:  Art 5.1.c: ‘In the event of any imminent threat to human health or the environment, whether caused by human activities or due to natural causes, all information which could enable the public to take measures to prevent or mitigate harm arising from the threat’…’is disseminated immediately and without delay to members of the public who may be affected’.  Stakeholder -“The public concerned” means the public affected or likely to be affected by, or having an interest in, the environmental decision-making; for the purposes of this definition, non-governmental organizations promoting environmental protection and meeting any requirements under national law shall be deemed to have an interest. – Civil society and organisation – CSO.  BSS Directive:  Relevant articles:  Art 70 and 71 with ann. XII: information to the members of the public likely to be affected or actually affected in the event of an emergency: basic facts about impacts of radioactivity, the emergency consequences, EP&R measures and actions.
  3. 3. 3 Information to the members of the public likely to be affected in the event of an emergency 1.Member States shall ensure that the members of the public likely to be affected in the event of emergency are given information about the health protection measures applicable to them and about the action they should take in the event of such an emergency. 2.The information supplied shall include at least the elements set out in Section A of Annex XII. 3.The information shall be communicated to the members of the public referred to in paragraph 1 without any request being made. 4.Member States shall ensure that the information is updated and distributed at regular intervals and whenever significant changes take place. This information shall be perma­nently available to the public. Article 70, BSS Directive
  4. 4. 4 Information to the members of the public actually affected in the event of an emergency 1.Member States shall ensure that, when an emergency occurs, the members of the public actually affected are informed without delay about the facts of the emergency, the steps to be taken and, as appropriate, the health protection measures applicable to these members of the public. 2.The information provided shall cover those points listed in Section B of Annex XII which are relevant to the type of emergency Article 71, BSS Directive
  5. 5. 5 NTW investigation on related issues  Questionnaire developed to address all arrangements, also information provisions.  Data provided from NTW members via discussions with regulators and local CSO:  Belgium by Greenpeace Belgium,  France by ANCLLI and ACRO  Slovenia, Croatia by REC Slovenia  Greens Fichtelgebirge for Germany  Greenpeace Luxembourg for Luxembourg  Via Temelin Round Table responds from Slovakia and Czech R. were obtained.
  6. 6. 6 EU findings related to information -1  Information, communication and awareness raising on off-site EP&R:  National media will be engaged to inform the population by broadcasting messages prepared by competent authorities. Phone-call centres are also in place.  In all countries the information is provided on official web-sites of nuclear authorities only in some countries information available on web-sites of NPP operators and local authorities.  Only Luxembourg is carrying out regular information activities, the basic information on EP&R is provided in 8 languages  The authorities admit that the communication strategy is too passive and there is an obvious lack of public discussions on the issue.  In Belgium the campaigns that are carried through national and local media are combined with campaigns for pre-distribution of iodine pills in emergency planning zones, last in March 2011.  Belgian information strategy in addition also includes provision of GSM, sms and e- mail tools.  In France the campaigns are restricted to emergency protection areas while large majority of respondents in public opinion polls demonstrate that risk culture is not well integrated in the French population.  Difficulties in Germany and in Slovenia in obtaining information indicating that people are not well informed on the issue.
  7. 7. 7 EU findings related to information -2  The communication strategy in France seems to have a comprehensive approach: communication with the public aims to transmit feedback information, continuous and credible; to maintain the trust; to make citizens actors by transmitting different procedures to follow, promoting local solidarity mechanisms.  The strategy is based on a clear division of roles and responsibilities of each source of information: the operator, the state authorities, Nuclear Safety Authority and IRSN institute.  During the emergency phase, immediate communication to the public (and the media) is carried by the operator and by the authorities that provides the use of different means of dissemination of the alert (sirens, a national network of alert, mobile devices ...), complemented and supplemented by various means of communication (agreements with Radio France, France Television ... ) and dissemination of information.
  8. 8. 8 EU findings related to information -3  Trust to information sources:  Quality and timing of information to the public in case of a real emergency situation, as well as coherence between information sources at different levels engaged (national authorities, provincial/communal authorities, operator of the facility) should enhance trustworthiness of information.  There is evidence of scepticism and disbelief about the emergency information provided in a traditional manner by the authorities in todays’ highly complex European societies characterised by plurality of information sources and views.  The situation in Slovenia is characterised by paradox. While public opinion polls demonstrate high levels of trust in nuclear safety and information in the field, the large majority of the population in the emergency zone believe that in the case of a severe nuclear accident no action could save them from the worst.
  9. 9.  AIM: Analyse preparedness of local population and institutions for evacuation in case of nuclear accident in NPP Krško  Faculty of Social Sciences University of Ljubljana  Local population living within 3-km zone around NPP Krško. (N=502): simple random sampling:  52% female and 48% male  Methods: personal interviews with standardized questionnaire  Twelve qualitative interviews with leading personnel in companies and institutions in the Krško municipality  In Octobre 2012 Example: Opinion Survey at the NPP Krško
  10. 10. Evaluating the probability of a serious nuclear accident at NPP Krško  Not at all possible 9,8 %  Unlikely 52,6 %  Likely 24,5 %  Highly probable 6,0 %  Do not know 7,2 %  Majority do not evaluate that serious nuclear accident can happened.
  11. 11. Knowledge of measures
  12. 12. Preparedness to evacuate  Keeping the leaflet on evacuation direction at home:  Yes 36,3 %  No 45,6 %  Do not know 18,1 %
  13. 13. Locations of the reception centres and evacuation routes  Locations of the reception centres:  55,4 % answered „do not know”  Rest of them (44,6%) have chosen one of the offered locations.  Additional 15,7 % have given a wrong answer, which means 71,7% were not familiar with the locations of their reception centre.  Among those who claimed to know their evacuation route, additional 24,6 % stated the wrong answer. So, 75,8% of the population were not familiar with their evacuation route
  14. 14. Possible reactions to the announcement of an evacuation
  15. 15. Main results from survey  Perception of threat of nuclear accident: 2.59 out of 4 (more women, married, family members with disabilities)  Evaluation of likelihood of nuclear disaster: 52.6 % belive that such a disaster in unlikely (30 % likely or probably - lower education, income)  Knowledge of protective measures in the event of nuclear disaster: only partly familiar with measures (more than 50 % not or only partly)  Preparedness to evacuate: more than half do not have knowledge of basic key information (distributed by municipality in 2008), 71 % do not know the place of their reception, 66 % do not know the evacuation routes  Preparedness at local institutions: organisation of evacuation would be a problem, not included in drills, no protective equipment
  16. 16. Conclusions on the survey  Communication (always 2 way) with people in the potentially affected area on the possibilities of a nuclear emergency and evacuation is vital and needs to be addressed as a priority.  People in the affected area have poor knowledge of escape routes and places of reception, so it is necessary to improve this.  Evacuation of children from primary and secondary schools and kindergartens is the most critical point of the whole evacuation.  Evacuation of caring facility for elderlies would be very difficult or even impossible – lack of knowledge, equipment and resources.  Fatalistic view of several competent people that in case of a severe nuclear accident nothing can be done, because the consequences are too serious and they are located too close to the power plant to be evacuated in time – lack of understanding of the accident‘s evolution – this should be included in the information.
  17. 17. How to improve information  It is well known exercise of communication and stakeholder involvement plan:  Define the stakeholders – stakeholder mapping  Define and develop the channels and tools  Prepare the main information – material to be developed answering the elements as prescribed in Annex XII of BSS  Design the communication and stakeholder plan  Consult with local representatives (not only formal local municipality representatives, but also different stakeholders) and improve the plan  Start with implementation of plan and evaluate the effectiveness and quality (opinion survey, discussions, ….)  Improve the plan and iterate
  18. 18. 18 Thank you for your attention!