Lithuania’s capital to hold drill simulating accident at Belarus NPP

A part of Vilnius will be evacuated during a drill that will take place on September, 5 to simulate an accident at the Astravets nuclear power plant, reports.

The drill plan includes a perceived radioactive contamination within a 50-kilometre radius of the Belarusian NPP.

“The scenario provides for the simulation of evacuating a certain part of Vilnius; people will be ‘sent’ to the so-called cleaning stations, such unit will be set near Siemens Arena. We will do the following there: people will change their clothes, then get in buses which will drive them along Ukmergės street in the direction of Ukmergė [a town in the north-west of Lithuania –]”, Povilas Poderskis, the city’s municipal administration director, said.

In the course of the drill, there will an attempt to assess the readiness of municipal enterprises and other services to face the threats, including cyber attacks.

“We will add breakdowns in the work of government services and see whether and to what extent we are ready,” the official said.

According to him, the national authorities are too slow in preparing for the start of the Belarusian NPP. There are too many ‘big holes’, i.e. the lack of funding, equipment, cooperation with other agencies, Poderskis stressed. As an example, he referred to the fact that nonexistent ‘civil defense forces’ were mentioned in the scenario of the simulation game.

In the event of radiation leakage into Neris (Vilya), water may be pumped from the underground sources not connected with the river basin, the municipal administration director added.

Belarus nuclear physicist bluntly about Chernobyl, Astravets (ENG video)

The would-be Belarusian NPP with two VVER-1200 reactors with a total capacity of 2,400 MW is being built according to the Russian project near Astravets in Hrodna region. The first power unit is scheduled to be commissioned in 2019, the second one — in 2020. The public keep being concerned over the unavailability of information about everything that happens at and around the site.

It is expected that the NPP will send its used nuclear fuel to Russia, but it will be stored in Belarus for about 10 years before the shipment.

Lithuania has repeatedly criticized the construction of the nuclear power plant and encouraged the rest of the countries of the United Europe to not buy electricity from the NPP. Belarus’ neighbour is not only concerned about the proximity of the station to Vilnius, but also with a number of emergencies during the NPP construction. Among the emergencies are a reactor vessel incident, when it fell during the transportation, the collapse of the concrete structure at the site between the reactors. Our channel was the first to report on the incident. Before the official request of the Lithuanian side, representatives of the Belarusian NPP denied this information.