Tanja Perko from SCK·CEN and Meritxell Martell from Merience carried out the “Study on good practices in implementing the requirements on public information in the event of an emergency, under the Euratom Basic Safety Standards Directive and Nuclear Safety Directive“, under contract to DG Energy. The overall objective is to review existing procedures amongst Member States (MS) and identify good practices for the purpose of promoting the effective implementation of the public information and transparency provisions of the Euratom legislation. Its scope includes both arrangements to deal with national emergencies as well as those with cross-border impacts.

The study’s objective was achieved by obtaining and reviewing in detail the declared arrangements of the various governments, local authorities and licensees, responsible for informing the general public prior to and in the event of radiological or nuclear emergencies. The project studied how the arrangements are implemented at a practical level in 28 MS, considering the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches, reviewed the experience from previous radiological and nuclear accidents worldwide to see what additional lessons they provide for improvements, and made practical and feasible recommendations for improving these practices and procedures. Communication approaches and challenges in other significant non-radiological accidents were also studied in order to learn from other experiences out of nuclear. The situation of 28 EU Member States with and without nuclear installations and the potential for emergencies with cross border consequences is also examined.

Although the Euratom Directives principally address requirements for public information, the study also considers the experience and practices related to communication with the public in preparedness and response, and evaluated the benefits or otherwise of different approaches. A specific objective of the study was to include the viewpoint, experience and expectations of civil society as an important affected stakeholder in the event of a nuclear or radiological emergency. A public opinion survey was conducted in Belgium concerning public awareness and satisfaction with information about nuclear emergencies potentially occurring in Belgium or in bordering neighbouring countries.