Devonport offsite emergency plan

The Ministry of Defence, operates, berths and maintains nuclear powered submarines and warships in Devonport.   The Devonport Site covers the land owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd (DRDL), and includes the Dockyard Port of Plymouth. 

The Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 (REPPIR) place a duty on local authorities, where there is a regulated nuclear establishment, to protect the public in the unlikely event of a nuclear emergency.

REPPIR requires that the MoD, and DRDL, the Devonport site operators, have emergency plans in place. It also obliges local authorities to provide prior information to people who live, or work, in the area surrounding the Devonport Site who may be affected by a nuclear emergency. The term ‘nuclear emergency’ is the same as ‘radiation emergency’, defined in REPPIR 2019. The term ‘nuclear emergency’ is used on this web page.

The off-site emergency plan for the area around the Devonport Site is called the Devonport Off-Site Emergency Plan (DOSEP).  This plan is drawn up by Plymouth City Council as the lead local authority

DOSEP gives details of the roles to be played by the MoD, DRDL, the emergency services and other responding agencies in the event of a nuclear emergency.

During the planning, the City Council determined specific areas around the Devonport Site and anchorages to which the off-site plan is applied.  These are the Detailed Emergency Planning Zones and the Outline Planning Zones.  

The Detailed Emergency Planning Zones are areas around the Devonport Site, which extend to a minimum distance of 1.5km from the operational submarine berths.

The Outline Planning Zone is an area around the Devonport Site, which extends to a distance of 5km from a central point, within the site. The Outline Planning Zone is an area intended to support responding agencies’ decision making. This allows the detailed planning to extend to particularly vulnerable groups in the Outline Planning Zone.

In defining these areas the Council worked with the MoD and DRDL, the operators, who considered the potential consequences should an incident occur.  The operators’ consequences reports are available below.

The Council provides prior information to people who live or work in the area surrounding the Devonport Site and the anchorages who may be affected by a nuclear emergency. The booklet "What you should do if there is a nuclear emergency at the Devonport site’’, is published every three years and distributed to households and businesses in the Detailed Emergency Planning Zone.  Copies are also set to some addresses in the Outline Planning Zone where vulnerable groups have been identified.

If you are a resident or a local business in the area, you can sign up to our Emergency Notification System 'warning and informing' text messaging service. This system will notify you in the very unlikely event of a nuclear emergency.

 Nuclear Emergency Booklet [PDF, 4MB]

 Devonport offsite emergency plan [PDF, 4MB]

 Map detailed emergency planning zone – Devonport [PDF, 5.5MB]

 Map detailed emergency planning zone – Delta and Echo Buoys / 22 and 23 Anchorages [PDF, 2MB]

 Map outline planning zone – Devonport [PDF, 5MB]

 Map outline planning zone – Delta and Echo Buoys / 22 and 23 Anchorages [PDF, 3MB]

 Ministry of Defence Consequences Report [PDF, 172KB]

 Devonport Royal Dockyard Limited Consequences Report [PDF, 244KB]


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