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GRS Emergency Centre

In case of an incident or accident in a nuclear power plant in Germany or abroad, the GRS Emergency Centre gets active. A team of up to 60 experts comes together in the GRS Emergency Centre in the Cologne city centre, in order to inform the Federal Government on the situation in the installation concerned. The Emergency Centre is part of the emergency organisation which is provided by GRS on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) around the clock.

View on the working area of the emergency response team. This is where the analyses provided by the emergency response team are coordinated and summarised for the purpose of informing the BMU. (Source: GRS)

Tasks in case of emergency
In individual cases, the experts gather information on the accident, evaluate the information and make forecasts on other possible developments. At the core of the Emergency Centre, there is an emergency response team comprising experts of different disciplines. The emergency response team is composed of three teams:

  • the system engineering team,
  • the analyse team and 
  • the radiation protection team.

In case of an incident, the system engineering team analyses the current state of the installation; determining thereby the failed and available safety systems and intervention options. Based on this information, the analyse team investigates the further behaviour of the installation based on a wide range of simulation results of conceivable accident scenarios. The radiation protection team analyses the radiological situation in the installation and, if necessary, the release of radioactive substances into the environment. The analyse team’s calculations of the source term provide an important reference for this.

To predict possible accident sequences in a nuclear power plant, the experts of the emergency response team of GRS draw on results of simulation codes. (Source: GRS)

Among others, the source term indicates the quantity and the composition of the radioactive substances released. To improve the assessment of the situation in the installation and further developments, available measurement data in the vicinity of the plant is used and is coordinated with plant-specific information in close cooperation with the system engineering- and the analyse teams. The results of each expert team are contiguous and complement one another. They are coordinated regularly and transmitted to BMUB in the form of status reports.

Lessons learned from the Fukushima accident
After the Fukushima accident on 11th March 2011, over several weeks, the BMU, the media and the public were continuously informed by the GRS emergency response team on the situation in the Japanese nuclear power plant and the radiological impacts. Between March and June, GRS prepared more than 200 status reports and published them initially, on its website and subsequently, on the Fukushima portal. The experiences made with Fukushima encouraged GRS to optimise their emergency organisation and to build an Emergency Centre at its company headquarters in Cologne. The new Emergency Centre started its activities in May 2013.