The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) ensures its operations
The coronavirus epidemic will not compromise radiation safety in Finland.
It is the task of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) to ensure that radiation is not detrimental to people, society or the environment.
Due to the coronavirus, STUK has adjusted its operations so that it can perform its duty also when the coronavirus epidemic spreads in Finland. For example, STUK’s employees will work remotely as much as possible to avoid infections.
In spite of the remote work arrangements, STUK will ensure that the monitoring of environmental radiation functions correctly and STUK has sufficient information about the radiation situation in Finland at all times. STUK has also ensured that its laboratory operations continue and that STUK can respond to requests for official assistance possibly made by Customs or the Border Guard, for example.
The preparedness and alarm arrangements built by STUK for radiation hazard situations will also function in the normal way.
Regulatory control will be targeted on the basis of risks
The situation caused by the coronavirus has effects on STUK’s regulatory control activities carried out in nuclear power stations and other operators. On-site inspections will, for the time being, only be carried out at sites which are the most significant for safety, and the health authorities’ guidelines on avoiding close contact will be taken into account in the inspection arrangements. The sites supervised by STUK include undertakings critical to the overall safety and security of society, such as healthcare and nuclear power, so the risk of infection is taken very seriously. The majority of regulatory control is based on the inspection of documents. This work will continue in the normal way, carried out remotely.
STUK has also ensured that nuclear power companies have prepared for the coronavirus situation. The most significant possible consequence of the coronavirus would be the simultaneous infection of operating personnel, which would have impacts on the operations of plants. Even this kind of situation would not cause a direct safety risk. Power companies have adequate substitute arrangements for cases of illness. According to STUK’s view, nuclear power plants have prepared adequately for the risks and nuclear power plants can be operated safely.
“In Finland, radiation safety is ultimately based on the responsible practice of the users of radiation and a good safety culture. Due to the coronavirus, STUK must deploy new ways of working in regulatory control. Radiation safety can be ensured even in this situation,” says STUK’s Director General Petteri Tiippana.
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