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What is the appropriate time for countermeasures?

The importance of individual exposure pathways is different in various phases of a nuclear accident. Since a particular countermeasure (i.e. intervention during a nuclear accident) is effective only to a certain exposure pathway, different countermeasures would be required for different phases of the nuclear accident and different exposure pathways.

 

 

Countermeasures in different phases of the nuclear accident

 

Countermeasures Phases of a nuclear accident
Early Intermediate Late
Evacuation ** * -
Sheltering ** * -
Control of incoming people and cargo ** ** *
Administration of stable iodine ** * -
Control of foodstuffs and drinking water * ** **

** High priority
*  Low priority

 

Countermeasures for different exposure pathways

 

 
Exposure Pathway
Countermeasures
Evacuation
Sheltering
Control of incoming people and cargo
Administration of stable iodine
Control of food stuffs and drinking water
External irradiation from plume

Early
 
 
 
 
 
Inhalation of radioactive materials

Intermediate
 
 
Contamination of skin and clothing

Late
 
 
External irradiation from deposited materials
 
 
 
Inhalation of resuspended materials
 
 
 
Ingestion of foodstuffs or drinking water
 
 
 
 
 

In Hong Kong, consideration for implementing the above countermeasures are based on a set of Generic Criteria and Operational Interventional Levels promulgated by the IAEA*.

For more details, please visit the Security Bureau's DBCP website.

 

* Criteria for Use in Preparedness and Response for a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency, General Safety Guide No. GSG-2, IAEA 2011.

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Last revision date: <21 Feb 2014>