The INES scale

The INES scale (International Nuclear Event Scale) was created after the accidents of Three Mile Island (1979) and Chernobyl (1986). These two events made it clear how difficult it was for the nuclear sector to correctly communicate the seriousness of incidents and accidents to the press and the general public. There was an urgent need for a reference scale for nuclear incidents or accidents.

De INES-schaal

The INES scale classifies all events involving sources of ionizing radiation which (may) have an impact on the safety of people and the environment. In concrete terms, this can range from the late performance of a test to a serious accident in a nuclear power plant. The scale was initially designed for large nuclear facilities, but since a thorough review in 2008-2009 the scale has also been used for smaller installations and industrial activities involving radioactive sources and transport. An important nuance is that this scale is merely a communication tool. The number of INES events is therefore not indicative of the safety level of a nuclear facility.

The INES reports of all Belgian nuclear facilities are listed on the website of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control.