EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE

PNRA is obliged under the Ordinance to ensure preparation and implementation of emergency plans for actions to be taken by the relevant plant management and offsite authorities following a radiological emergency.

Regulations issued by PNRA on the management of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency (PAK/914) require licensees to have in place emergency plans, the necessary workforce, equipment and mechanism for responding to any such eventuality. The licensees are also required to maintain capacity for coordination with offsite response organizations involved in mitigating the consequences of radiation emergency.

Emergency Plans and Drills

PNRA reviews and approves emergency plans of the facilities under its purview, as part of its licensing process, to ensure that the plans are commensurate with regulatory requirements and are executable.

PNRA has also reviewed emergency plans of a number of radiation facilities, including radiotherapy and nuclear medicine centers, industries and research centers and communicated recommendations to licensees for improvements.

National Radiation Emergency Coordination Centre (NRECC)

The National Radiation Emergency Coordination Centre (NRECC), based at PNRA Headquarters, is responsible for coordinating the response to nuclear accidents or radiological emergencies and functions round-the-clock. NRECC is Pakistan's designated National Warning Point (NWP) under the Conventions on “Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident” and “Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency”. It is responsible for notifying the competent authorities (both domestic and abroad) and IAEA about any nuclear accident or radiological emergency in the country.

The Centre conducts different types of emergency exercises, within the country,including the Communication Test Exercise (COMTEX) and MRML exercises to evaluate its readiness to respond to any emergency. The availability of communication channels with licensees and regional directorates of PNRA is verified during COMTEX while MRML exercise tests the capability to respond to an event involving radiation monitoring; and field exercises. During the reported period, NRECC conducted three COMTEX exercises and one MRML exercise.

NRECC also participates in exercises and drills conducted by licensees, as well as in Conventional Exercises (ConvEx) conducted by IAEA under international conventions. The ConvEx exercises focus on verification of international communication channels and the capability of member states to evaluate and respond to different radiological accidents

Sharing of Information Related to Radiation Incidents and Emergencies

PNRA receives information of radiation incidents and emergencies, through IAEA, occurring worldwide. PNRA shares the information of radiation incidents occurring in the world with its licensees.     

IAEA Response and Assistance Network (RANET)

The Response and Assistance Network (RANET) is an integrated system established by IAEA under International Convention on Assistance in case of Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency. Under this network, member states register and pool their capabilities to detect, measure, respond or mitigate radiological emergencies and when required, any member state can request or offer assistance under this network. PNRA is the national contact point under this network. In 2008, Pakistan registered its assistance capabilities in different areas of response. In year 2010, RANET scope and areas of assistance were revised by IAEA.