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Preparations in progress for major radiation accident response exercise in Belarus

MINSK, 11 October (BelTA) – Practical actions of the command staff exercise on responding to radiation accidents will take place in over 20 districts and at two border checkpoints in Belarus, representatives of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry told BelTA.

A radiation accident response in Brest Oblast will be practiced in Luninets District, Brest District, and at a border checkpoint. In Vitebsk District the exercise will take place in Vitebsk, Orsha, Polotsk, Novopolotsk, Braslav District, Verkhnedvinsk District, Glubokoye District, Dokshitsy District, Dubrovno District, Lepel District, Miory District, Postavy District, Chashniki District, and Sharkovshchina District. In Gomel Oblast the radiation accident response will be practiced in the oblast capital, at a border checkpoint, in Zhitkovichi District, Korma District, Rechitsa District, Svetlogorsk District, and Khoiniki District. The active phase of the exercise is supposed to take place in Ostrovets District, Grodno Oblast on 19 October, however, the ability of assets and forces to respond to a radiation accident will be tested in other parts of the region, too.

In the city of Minsk the radiation accident exercise will take place in every district. In Minsk Oblast the exercise will involve Minsk District and the city of Molodechno. In Mogilev Oblast the exercise will be focused on Khotimsk District. Since several nuclear power plants are located around Belarus, responses to a radiation accident will be practiced all over the country. Many government services will be involved, including information distribution services, transportation services, power supply services, services in charge of protecting agricultural animals, crops, and other ones. Public announcement systems may be used in the districts where the radiation accident response exercise will take place.

Representatives of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry reminded that the exercise will take place on 18-19 October. Representatives of various government agencies and the state system for warning about and dealing with emergencies will take part in the event. Safety is a high priority for Belarus as the country is implementing its first nuclear energy program. In line with international recommendations countries, which are about to commission major nuclear energy installations, have to arrange a series of exercises to practice responding to possible accidents. Such exercises are designed to check the readiness of the rapid response system, which also is important for working out response plans for events outside the nuclear power plant site.

By arranging the exercise, Belarus acts in strict compliance with recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and believes that safety is an overriding priority in implementing the national nuclear energy program.


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