New GRS Emergency Centre for nuclear accidents operational
(Cologne, 23 May 2013) Work on the new Emergency Centre of Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) mbH at its company headquarters in Cologne has been completed.
From now on, the new premises will serve experts of GRS as a basis for supporting the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) should an accident or other event occur in a nuclear installation in Germany or abroad, as was the case in Fukushima in 2011.
Tasks of the GRS Emergency Centre
The Emergency Centre is part of the emergency organisation structure maintained around the clock by GRS for the BMU . At its core is an emergency task force composed of a team of around 60 experts of various different disciplines such as systems engineering, accident analysis and radiation protection. If an event occurs, information about the event sequence will be gathered and evaluated at the Emergency Centre, and if possible, assessments will be prepared trying to predict the further course of the event or accident. To do so, the experts can draw i.a. on simulation codes and pre-calculated accident scenarios. In the event of an accident, a further task is the determination of the so-called source term, which is the release of radioactive materials into the environment, which may yet occur or may already have happened. On the basis of the source term, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) will then estimate the radiation exposure of the population. The effects on the nuclear installation itself will be assessed by the experts of GRS.
Lessons of Fukushima mission have been learned
The experience that the emergency task force of GRS gained during the reactor accident at Fukushima has also been considered in the concept and layout of the new Emergency Centre. "At the time, our colleagues were on duty for several weeks, working day and night during the first days of the accident. It soon became clear that our infrastructure in those days wasn't ideal for dealing with longer-lasting events, especially regarding the size of the rooms. For us, it was therefore important that we should improve not only the technical facilities but also the working conditions,“ Prof. Dr. Frank-Peter Weiß, the Scientific-Technical Director of GRS explains. The new Emergency Centre now offers more spacious accommodation and separate working areas for the individual teams. Modern communication technology will in future facilitate e.g. the networking with other institutions in Germany and abroad and the internal exchange of information between the teams and the other company locations of GRS. Its own dedicated emergency power generator will even keep the Emergency Centre running in the event of a power cut.
Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) mbH
Phone: +49 22 12 06 86 54
E-mail: Sven.Dokter [at] grs.de