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Keith Pearce, Author and Consultant

Keith Pearce, Consultant and Author

Keith Pearce originally trained as a nuclear physicist but his first real job, at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London, was to teach nuclear submariners and nuclear dockyard officers about radiation; about what it is, how to measure it, how it interacts with matter, how it can harm human beings and how to stay safe in its presence.

He then moved to Nuclear Electric and joined their Health Physics Research team and spent several years developing and applying models of the movement of radioactivity in the atmosphere, seas and foodchains and the consequential dose to members of the public. This work supported the safety cases for gas cooled reactors, the Magnox (now shutdown) and Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors (AGR) classes as used in the UK.

In this role he helped to develop the tools used to estimate the dose to the public in an emergency to help formulate countermeasure advice. He joined the site emergency scheme as an on-site radiation monitor (an uncomfortable job involving the wearing of coveralls and respirator and walking around in a radiation plume most have run away from), an Assistant Health Physicist (a more comfortable job in an air conditioned room and near to the coffee machine) and then as an Executive Officer (a job where other people keep your coffee cup charged).

He also joined the Company’s central emergency response organisation, taking on dose assessment, health physics and command roles.

As Head of Emergency Planning, responsible for the emergency preparedness of ten Magnox nuclear reactor sites in, he worked with regulators, government officials, emergency services, local authorities and other expert groups to revise and maintain national standards and to keep the ten separate emergency plans and the corporate response up to standard. He played a significant role in the training of site and corporate emergency responders. He also witnessed many Level 2 exercises from Strategic Coordination Centres (SCCs) and participated as Company Media Technical Briefer.

For several years he has worked as an independent consultant and author. In this time he has helped to write, review and maintain emergency schemes for new build companies, nuclear dockyards, operating companies and local authorities. He can contacted via his Consultancy Company email to Katmal Limited

He has published three books:

  • How to survive a nuclear emergency

    This book provides indepth preparedness advice for those who live near a nuclear facility. It is intended for members of the public who are not satisfied with the level of detail given in REPPIR leaflets. Learn more

  • Emergency planning response for local authorities;

    This book gives an overview of how nuclear reactors work, reactor accidents, emergency planning and radiological protection. The aim is to allow the reader to understand the discussions in the SCC and to understand any advice being given to them about radiation doses and risks to the public, to themselves and to their employees. Learn more

  • The physics of the Chernobyl accident

    This highly readable explanation of what went wrong at Chernobyl neatly slips into the gap between the densely worded, and highly technical, official reports of the accident and the human story presented in many popular books and so intriguingly retold in the recent TV mini-series, Chernobyl. Learn more

Keith Pearce, Chernobyl control room



Katmal limited is Keith's consultancy business through which you can hire him to help you improve your emergency preparedness. Learn more

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