In Belgium, emergency situations are coordinated at the municipal, provincial or federal level. In case of a nuclear emergency, the Minister of the Interior can activate the national nuclear and radiological emergency plan.
Activation involves cooperation between municipal, provincial, regional, federal and international crisis structures.
It is mandatory for the operator of a nuclear site to report any incident on its site to the competent authorities (FANC, Crisis Centre). Based on the initial risk assessment, using the technical information from the operator, the government determines the alarm level.
An activation of the nuclear emergency plan does not necessarily mean that there is impact outside the site.
How governments respond and what protection measures local residents must take depends on the severity of the emergency situation. Experts evaluate the situation on the basis of different data:
- Data from the operator
- Results from the Telerad network
- Results from the mobile measurement teams on the ground.
On the basis of the strategic advice from the experts, the ministers in the crisis cell take the necessary decisions to ensure everyone's safety. To do so, they are in close contact with the governors and mayors involved and are supported by representatives of the various competent authorities and services. The measures taken are then communicated to the population, the operational actors and the (inter) national partners.
At European level, the ECURIE (European Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange) alarm system allows the member states to exchange information about the situation and the measures taken.