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Polish observer impressed by radiation accident response exercise in Belarus

Society 18.10.2017 | 19:06
The radiation accident response exercise in progress
The radiation accident response exercise in progress

MINSK, 18 October (BelTA) – Polish rescue workers can borrow Belarusian practices for responding to radiation accidents. The Polish observer Martin Antczak made the statement after the first stage of a radiation accident response exercise ended in Belarus on 18 October, BelTA has learned.

The observer said: “We stage similar practical exercises in every field in Poland. But we focus on dealing with emergencies involving chemical and biological substances. Honestly speaking, we liked the first stage of the exercise very much. We should think about adopting something new in the Polish emergency response service as a result.”

The Polish observer noted: “After the exercise, when I come back to Poland, I will definitely tell our experts what I saw, particularly how Belarusian rescue workers handle chemical and radioactive substances. Certainly, we hope that such situations never happen, but all the departments of the Emergencies Ministry must stage training sessions similar to today's.”

The first stage of the Belarusian exercise for responding to radiation accidents ended in the Emergencies Ministry exercise area near Borisov on 18 October. The readiness of assets to respond to accidents in Ostrovets District will be tested during the second stage on 19 October. Local population within a 3km radius of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will be evacuated. The readiness of the nuclear power plant's personnel to localize accidents will be tested. Practical actions will be taken using simulators.

The exercise to practice responding to radiation accidents is taking place in various parts of Belarus on 18-19 October. Command and control organizations and assets of the national system for preventing and dealing with consequences of emergencies are taking part in the exercise. In line with international recommendations countries, which are about to commission major nuclear energy installations, are supposed to arrange a series of exercises to practice their responses to possible accidents. The purpose of the exercise is to check the readiness of the rapid response system, which is crucial for working out plans for responding to emergencies outside the Belarusian nuclear power plant site among other things. By staging the exercise, Belarus acts in strict compliance with recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency, bearing in mind that safety is the top priority in implementing the national nuclear energy program.

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