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2019.10.02 17:30

Lithuanians stage mock evacuations to train for nuclear accident – photos

LRT.lt2019.10.02 17:30

Over a hundred volunteers were evacuated and decontaminated on the second day of an exercise to test how Lithuanian services are prepared to respond to a nuclear accident. The four-day drill is organised in the run up to the launch of the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus.

Rescuers evacuated around 50 volunteers from the District of Švenčionys and another 50 from the District of Vilnius, both eastern regions bordering Belarus, on Wednesday and handed out mock iodine pills.

Police officers oversaw the evacuation as people were moved from their homes to a decontamination site and further westwards.

One of the drills took place in the village of Magūnai, Švenčionys District. One of the volunteers, 50-year-old teacher Natalija Alinauskienė, told BNS she was worried about the Astravyets plant, because it is located so close to Lithuania.

“[In case of an accident at Astravyets] there would be much panic, everyone would want to be the first to evacuate,” Alinauskienė said.

The Lithuanian government has fiercely protested the plant's construction 30 kilometres from the border and only 50 kilometres from the Lithuanian capital and most populous city, Vilnius.

Read more: As sirens blare across Vilnius, authorities test nuclear response readiness