15 October 2008
Emergency communications between the Channel Islands and France in the event of a nuclear incident are to be tested this week.
On Thursday (16 October), the French are holding an exercise at the Areva nuclear waste treatment plant at Cap de la Hague on the Normandy coast.
During the exercise, Jersey and Guernsey will each have a dedicated telephone link to the French authorities and the effectiveness of the link will be tested. Other methods of communication, such as e-mail and fax can be used as back up to ensure any information crucial to Jersey is received as quickly as possible.
Jersey ’s Emergency Planning Officer, Michael Long has been involved in plans for the exercise, although he won’t be going to France on this occasion.
He commented: ‘This event is part of wider efforts to develop closer working relationships between the emergency planning authorities of Jersey and France. We hope to build on these closer links in 2009, by, for example, taking part in joint exercises.
‘ The ultimate aim is to ensure Jersey has the necessary information and plans in place in the event of an incident in France, including, for example an accident at a nuclear power station or treatment plant.’
Mr Long will liaise closely with counterparts in France to analyse the exercise, and make any necessary changes. The results will also be reviewed by Jersey’s Emergency Planning Board and form part of the wider emergency preparedness plans for Jersey.