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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Portland Port Off-site Reactor Emergency Plan

Portland Port is one of the few ports within the UK able to host nuclear powered submarines for the Royal Navy.

The Portland Port 'Deep water berth' is authorised for operational visits by nuclear powered submarines. These authorised berths are also called 'Operational Berths'. The Royal Navy has been operating nuclear powered submarines since the early 1960s and has a safety record that is second to none. It is also important to stress that due to the design of a submarine nuclear reactor there is no risk of an 'atom-bomb' type explosion, contrary to popular belief.

Dorset Council and the Emergency Services have a statutory duty laid down by Central Government to plan and prepare for emergency situations, in the highly unlikely event of a radiation emergency.

These statutory duties are specified under the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations (REPPIR) 2019, which have now replaced REPPIR 2001.  These latest regulations place extra responsibilities upon the Local Authorities, and hence Dorset Council.  One such duty includes the determination of the Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) based on a Consequences Report produced by the operator (Royal Navy), and the publication of this report.

In line with these requirements Dorset Council has confirmed the extent of the DEPZ for Portland Port as an area described Dorset Council determination for Portland Operation Berth

Recent work carried out by Dorset Council’s Emergency Planning Service has adopted the new Regulations and updated the Portland Port Off-site Rector Emergency Plan compliant with REPPIR19.

A booklet entitled Information in the event of a Radiation Emergency in Portland Port describes precautions to be taken in the unlikely event of such an emergency.

Following the adoption of REPPIR 2019, member organisations of the Portland Port Operational Berth Issues Group (OBIG) and Dorset Council will continue to undertake regular reviews of the Plan and test these arrangements at suitable intervals (not exceeding three years).

For further information, including support with Braille, translation or to request this information in a different format, please contact:

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