an exercise in miscellany

International Nuclear Event Scale

In science & nature on March 20, 2011 at 7:59 am

The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) was introduced in 1990 by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in order to enable prompt communication of safety significance information in case of nuclear accidents.
The scale is intended to be logarithmic.  Each increasing level represents an accident approximately ten times more severe than the previous level.  Because of the difficulty of interpreting, the INES level of an incident is assigned well after the incident occurs. Therefore, the scale has a very limited ability to assist in disaster-aid deployment.
Commonly, the organization where the nuclear incident occurs assigns it a first provisional rating, after it is being reviewed and possibly revised by the designated national radiation authority.  As INES ratings are not assigned by a central body, high-profile nuclear incidents are sometimes assigned INES ratings by the operator, by the formal body of the country, but also by scientific institutes, international authorities or other experts which may lead to confusion as to the actual severity.
A number of criteria and indicators are defined to assure coherent reporting of nuclear events by different official authorities. There are 7 levels on the INES scale; 3 incident-levels and 4 accident-levels along with a level 0.

via International Nuclear Event Scale – Wikipedia

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