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Nuclear panic on Portland: Dorset County Council reaction
10:00am Friday 12th March 2010 in News
A SENIOR emergency management officer at Dorset County Council said the leaflet drop was an ‘update’ of a similar exercise three years ago.
Donna George said: “There are clearly some other questions thrown up on this occasion that weren’t thrown up three years ago.
“I understand that the message went out in the Dorset Echo and over local radio so they were aware of the particular exercise we were looking to undertake.
“The public information booklets were produced for the first time three years ago and that was obviously part of us warning and informing members of the public in the area what to do in the unlikely event an incident should occur.
“It’s part of our statutory requirements.
“The booklet is all part of making sure the general public are aware of what the hazards could be when a nuclear-powered submarine berths in Portland Port.
“Weymouth and Portland Borough Council are responsible for printing and issuing the booklets, the content is driven by national guidelines.”
She added: “Our understanding is that no one used a megaphone.
“As part of the operations carried out for arranging deployment of distribution teams on the ground, there were representatives from Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, Dorset County Council, Dorset Primary Care Trust, Royal Navy and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
“We also had representation from Dorset ambulance, from the borough council’s potassium iodate tablet co-ordinator and communication department.
“At the location we had health and safety Nuclear Installations Act representatives and the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator, we also had representatives from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and also the radiation protection specialist.
“We had a briefing session and then teams from the Royal Navy and MCA went door to door delivering leaflets.”