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Daya Bay Contingency Plan exercise successfully concluded

The two-day inter-departmental exercise "Checkerboard II", held to test the response capabilities of the Government in dealing with a severe nuclear accident, was successfully concluded today (December 21).

Officers from more than 30 bureaux, departments and organisations involved in the Daya Bay Contingency Plan (DBCP) took part in exercise "Checkerboard II". Under a simulated nuclear accident scenario, various parts of the DBCP were tested, including early notifications, activation of the contingency plan, co-ordination and co-operation among the bureaux and departments, decision-making for and implementation of countermeasures, dissemination of information to the public, responding to press enquiries and handling public reactions and sentiments. The exercise not only showcased to the public the expertise, technology and commitment of the Government in protecting the citizens of Hong Kong in the event of a nuclear emergency, but also enhanced public preparedness for nuclear emergencies and awareness of the contingency plan.

The scenario on the first day simulated a chain of equipment fault events at the Guangdong Nuclear Power Station (GNPS), leading to an off-site emergency situation and an external release of radioactive materials. The Government swiftly implemented full activation of the DBCP. A variety of spin-off scenarios were added to test the co-ordination and capabilities of participating bureaux and departments in various aspects.

In today's field deployment exercises, the Government carried out a series of measures at the Man Kam To Control Point to monitor imported food and goods from the Mainland as well as incoming travellers in order to minimise the public health risk posed by the accident.

These measures included radiation monitoring on imported food and livestock from the Mainland by Food and Environmental Hygiene Department's Man Kam To Food Control Office; radiation monitoring of inbound trucks travelling from areas within 20 kilometers of the GNPS, goods on board and their drivers, as well as the ready provision of decontamination treatment in case of contamination, by the Customs and Excise Department and other relevant departments. Furthermore, staff from the Auxiliary Medical Service conducted radiation monitoring of people arriving from the Mainland, some of whom were found to be contaminated and subsequently went through the decontamination procedures before entering Hong Kong.

Other measures deployed by the participating departments during these two days included:
  • activation of the Emergency Monitoring and Support Centre of the Security Bureau and emergency control centres of various departments;
  • precautionary evacuation and subsequent radiation monitoring of people in the area of Hong Kong within 20 kilometers of the GNPS (e.g. Tung Ping Chau) ;
  • radiation monitoring and assessment with the use of various equipment and systems;
  • monitoring of radiation levels in reservoirs;
  • searching for radioactive sources arising from a suspected hotspot event;
  • collection of marine water samples for examination; and
  • establishment of Monitoring Centres at land control points and designated swimming pools to provide radiation monitoring and decontamination services.

The Hospital Authority also participated in the exercise. The A&E Department of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital took part in the exercise by receiving and managing contaminated patients this morning. Healthcare staff in protective gear performed radiation screening and decontamination cleansing process for the patients in accordance with established procedures, before admitting them to the ward for further treatment.

The Government engaged the Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN) as consultant for the exercise to heighten its professionalism and enhance the Government's response capabilities.

A Government spokesman said, "The Government will assess the outcome of the exercise and consider the comments and recommendations received from the participants and observers, and make refinements to the DBCP where necessary."

21.12.2017


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