Emergency Preparedness Process Proposal for Radiological Incidents at Accelerator Driven Facilities
Abstract: The European Spallation Source (ESS) is an accelerator driven research facility under construction. Once commissioned, a linear accelerator supplies protons to a target, whereupon neutrons are generated through a process called “spallation”. Neutron beam time will be available for a variety of scientific experiments. Ionising radiation and the activation of material exposed to it is a consequence of this process. To prepare for undesired events emergency preparedness for radiological incidents is indispensable. Therefore, this thesis aims to investigate what considerations are crucial for emergency preparedness at accelerator facilities by investigating similar facilities through observations and interviews. To subsequently design, propose and implement an emergency preparedness process for radiological incidents at the ESS. The process is an iterative cycle with several activities. The key activities include the development of a concept of operation describing intervention procedures and mitigation actions in case of an emergency. The process was evaluated in a table top exercise and let to the conclusion that the design provides a good starting point and will gain more maturity in the upcoming improvement iterations. Based on the exercise results, the research suggests establishing an emergency task force at the ESS facility to enable sufficient and consistent risk communication and interoperability among different stakeholders. Further, it suggests to consider designing and facilitating progressive types of exercises to enhance preparedness. Overall, this thesis provides valuable first-hand insights on aspects to consider for designing emergency preparedness and common challenges planners at accelerator facilities have to overcome.
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