Government gears up for Daya Bay Contingency Plan exercise

     The Government is actively preparing for a major inter-departmental exercise to be held on April 26 and 27, based on the revised Daya Bay Contingency Plan (DBCP).
     A Security Bureau spokesperson said today (April 20) that the exercise aims to test the response capability of bureaux and departments involved in the event of a serious off-site accident at the nuclear power stations at Daya Bay, and to test and practise their response capability when faced with other emergencies or natural disasters that might possibly happen at the same time, based on the complementary support of the Emergency Response System.
     More than 1,000 officers from over 30 government bureaux and departments will take part in the exercise. The Government has also invited relevant local resident bodies and volunteers to play an appropriate part in the exercise, in order to enhance its realism and to test out certain procedures and arrangements.
     The spokesperson said: "Although the chance of such an event is very remote, it is prudent to be prepared to ensure the protection of public health and safety in Hong Kong."
     Following the prevailing International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards and the most stringent requirements of most countries, the DBCP maintains a range of 20 kilometres from the nuclear power stations at Daya Bay as the "Emergency Zone". As Tung Ping Chau is the only land mass in Hong Kong within this zone, the response capability of bureaux and departments involved in the evacuation at Tung Ping Chau will be tested during the upcoming exercise.

     The exercise will also test relevant departments' capability in monitoring air, marine water, drinking water, food and live food animals and carrying out appropriate monitoring in the territory and at points of entry.  Different scenarios have also been designed to test various countermeasures, operations to deal with natural disasters, and the arrangements for public information dissemination by government departments during an emergency.

     The spokesperson said that overseas experts from the IAEA, Office for Nuclear Regulation of the United Kingdom, and Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety of France, as well as Mainland experts from the National Nuclear Safety Administration, National Nuclear Emergency Coordination Committee and emergency response organisations of  Guangdong Province will be observers at the exercise. Together with local observers, they will evaluate the exercise effectiveness and performance of all parties and make recommendations to improve the DBCP.

     "The Government will assess the outcome of the exercise and identify lessons learned. The Government will also closely monitor any new nuclear safety standards that may be promulgated by the IAEA, Mainland authorities and other advanced countries and make refinements to the revised DBCP as necessary," the spokesperson said.

Ends/Friday, April 20, 2012
Issued at HKT 14:29