27 May 2022
30 Projects to 30th Anniversary of NNC RK!
Project #24. 2017–2022. ON-SITE PROFESSIONAL EMERGENCY-RESCUE UNIT FOR NUCLEAR AND RADIATION EMERGENCY RESPONSE
The RK National Nuclear Center has established professional on-site emergency-rescue unit for radiation emergency response and rescue operations, which is unrivaled in Kazakhstan.
In accordance with the requirements of the Republic of Kazakhstan Law concerning “Civil protection”, the National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as an owner of hazardous facilities, shall execute a contract with professional industrial emergency-rescue services or establish professional on-site emergency-rescue unit.
Between 2014 and 2016, third party licensed companies provided preventive maintenance and gas rescue operations for the hazardous facilities of NNC RK on a contract basis. However, the type of declared hazardous facilities of NNC RK (reactor facilities – IGR, IVG.1M, test-benches – “EAGLE”, “Liana”, “Angara”) made necessary to carry out specific emergency-rescue operations at the facilities, that is: radiation emergency mitigation including rescuing people, material and other assets under high ionizing radiation level, localization/management of radiation emergency, restrain or minimize ionizing radiation level.
In 2006, we have analyzed service market of Republic of Kazakhstan searching for the licensed company rendering services in emergency-rescue, including radiation emergency mitigation, in order to ensure required safety level for the nuclear and radiation hazardous facilities being in operation. The analysis revealed absence of such companies, thus, determined NNC RK managers’ decision to establish professional on-site unit.
Late in 2016, a decision to establish professional on-site unit in NNC RK was coordinated with state authorized body for civil protection. Basic functions of the unit included carrying out definite emergency rescue operations, ensuring radiation emergency mitigation.
At the initial stages of design and organizational-technical measures, NNC RK came across a number of challenges related to absence of legislative framework for radiation emergency mitigation as a kind of emergency-rescue operation, as well as requirements for number of staff, material logistics standards, training programs, rules for rescuers (and unit as a whole) certification. All the above issues were solved promptly by the enterprise itself upon agreement with authorized bodies for civil protection and nuclear power use.
Aiming to ensure rescuers’ training, NNC RK has developed and agreed with authorized body a training program for the course “Specialized training for emergency-rescue unit in nuclear and radiation emergency response”, at the Institute of Radiation Safety and Ecology. Also, NNC has developed and approved standards of equipment for emergency-rescue unit, as well as provisions for rescuers and unit performance evaluation. Number of staff was determined assuming two operating emergency-rescue divisions for round-the-clock shift.
In 2017, rescuer candidates had successfully completed training program “Purpose built civil protection training center” at a training center, courses on emergency medical technician to deliver premedical first aid at public health facility, courses on nuclear and radiation emergency response, reached a qualifying standards in physical training and were certified with award of rescuer status.
In the framework of intergovernmental Agreement between the Republic of Kazakhstan and United States of America, significant support was delivered to NNC RK in terms of strengthening facilities and resources.
The unit is currently equipped with park of special all-terrain vehicles, gas rescue means, and equipment for radiation reconnaissance and monitoring, rescue kit. The center has constructed production facilities (service room and storage, classroom, workshops, box for vehicles, training area, etc.) at its own expense. Following staffing the unit with certified rescuers and having established material and technical facilities, the unit passed performance evaluation in accordance with regulatory requirements.
In 2018, to prevent and extinguish steppe fires, and fires within the enterprise area, on-site voluntary fire-fighting unit was established.
For the period from 2017 to 2021, every year up to 15-17 trainings (alert, training alerts) has been organized at NNC hazardous facilities participated by the emergency rescue unit, along with preventive measures. The operations staff was involved in extinguishing steppe fires, constituting danger for material assets and personnel.
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