Protecting people and the environment is one of the fundamental principles of nuclear energy legislation. Emergency protective measures must be in place to deal with any incidents at Swiss nuclear facilities where a significant release of radioactivity cannot be ruled out.
The aim of emergency protective measures is to protect the affected population and their livelihoods, provide them with temporary assistance and essential supplies, and contain the impact of an incident or emergency. The organisation of the emergency protection zones and planning areas as well as the duties of the operators of nuclear facilities and of the federal, cantonal, regional and communal authorities are set out in the Ordinance on Emergency Protection in the Vicinity of Nuclear Installations (Emergency Protection Ordinance [EmPO]; SR 732.33).
The Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate ENSI conducts emergency drills to test the operational readiness of the emergency organisation of nuclear facilities. The Federal Office for Civil Protection FOCP conducts an overall emergency drill every two years in coordination with the emergency protection partners.
The Radiological Protection Act and its associated ordinance contain further provisions on emergency protection in the vicinity of nuclear facilities.