Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Big nuclear safety drill scheduled for this week



Under the guidance of the Ministry of Interior extensive safety drill will be executed in the area of Bohunice Nuclear Power Plant. The exercise has been named Havran (Corvus) and will take place on October 17th and 18th.

The goal of the simulated accident is to practice and review response times, the state of preparedness and the reactions of crisis committees at all levels, including selected ministries, other state administration authorities, the regional state administration and self-government authorities of the Trnava, Nitra and Trencin regions. Various institutions, rescue forces of the integrated rescue system and Slovenske elektrarne, a. s., the operator of the nuclear facility will be involved when managing an emergency event.

Special focus will be on the information flow from the nuclear facility up to the ministries.

Around 1,100 employees of the Bohunice power plant and contracting companies as well as further 1,500 people from institutions involved will participate.

The drill is held pursuant to resolution No. 320/2011 of the Slovak government concerning the process and results of the Fiftth assessment of the National Report of the Slovak Republic under the Nuclear Safety Agreement.

Earthquake reactions

Earthquake with epicenter in the vicinity of Bohunice NPP is to be the initiating event for the simulated accident resulting in rupture of the main pipes. Due to fast progress a state of emergency will be announced in the area of nuclear facility.

On Wednesday morning approximately a 2-minute varied tone siren and "Radiation danger alert" warning will sound in the NPP site. In the area of 21 km around the power plant the sirens will be tested in a silent mode.

The accident will be identified as Level III without radiation consequences and with expected shift to a phase of severe accident in 5 hours. Central crisis committee will hold a meeting and recommend the government to announce state of emergency in the whole territory of Slovakia.

Neighboring countries, International Atomic Energy Agency and the European Commission will be informed. An announcement for the public TV and radio station will also be created, but not aired.
On Thursday morning inhabitants of some villages will be evacuated. They will undergo a simulated decontamination and purification process.

Costs: € 6000

Last similar drill has been executed at the end of 1990´s. Observers from Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary have been invited. Follow-up assessment and recommendations will be submitted to government for discussion. 

The total costs of 6000 euro have been earmarked from the budget of the interior ministry and will be paid by the NPP operator and bodies of the integrated rescue system.

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