Safety under Control: Measures to Prevent COVID-19 Spread Implemented at Ukrainian NPPs
While the entire world is facing the disease caused by СОVID-19 coronavirus infection, it is required to combine forces and implement urgent measures to ensure safety of the public. Following many countries, in the spring Ukraine entered a quarantine regime, continuing to day, and limited certain activities. However, the most important and most effective measure is conscious responsibility of each person.
Personal responsibility of people who work in the field of nuclear energy has been always high. They follow standards and rules on nuclear and radiation safety in their daily activities. Nevertheless, the time has come when safety culture inculcated in the production environment should be demonstrated in everyday life.
The operator of Ukrainian nuclear power plants, Energoatom, takes all measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus at nuclear power plant sites: a number of preventive, anti-epidemic and health & safety measures have been taken, including intensive disinfection of production and office premises, health examination of workers, limited public events and foreign business trips, limited staying of foreign citizens on the territory of nuclear power plants, etc. Strict limitations have been imposed on meetings and workshops. Control over the pre-shift, shift, pre-trip and post-trip medical examinations has been strengthened to prevent admission of workers with signs of disease to work. Personnel’s body temperature is monitored at checkpoints. In case of suspicion, the employee should be immediately sent to a family doctor. Personnel are partially working remotely, and a special transport schedule has been arranged for operational workers.
The plant satellite towns also function in special regime: educational process and events of all institutions involving public gathering are held in special conditions for the quarantine period. The Ukrainian territory has been divided into four areas, defining the strictness of measures. The movement of public transport is limited, and entrances and exits from the cities and towns are monitored.
Operational groups have been set up in each city to monitor the epidemiological situation around the clock, constantly communicate with the city authorities and medical units and take corrective measures, if necessary.
The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine monitors the situation. Duty personnel of the communication and information systems and automated data transfer systems ensure uninterruptible performance of functions pertaining to state regulation of nuclear and radiation safety in the strict quarantine period. In particular, it concerns functions of the competent authority in compliance with the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities, functions dealing with the safe transport of radioactive materials in compliance with nuclear and radiation safety rules for the transport of radioactive materials and functions dealing with emergency notification in compliance with the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident.
Nevertheless, despite all the measures taken, we must focus on conscious responsibility because our health is in our hands.
Take care of yourself, be wise!
State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (SSTC NRS)