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2019.10.04 13:00

Lithuania wraps up ‘Astravyets drill’

BNS2019.10.04 13:00

Friday is the final day of a national nuclear emergency exercise that Lithuania has conducted in southeastern municipalities this week. The four-day drill was intended to test how the country's services are ready to respond to a potential nuclear accident at the Atsravyets Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus.

On the final day, the Interior Ministry is convening a meeting to review how the drill went.

The exercise started on Tuesday by testing the emergency population warning systems. Sirens blared accross the country and people received alert messages on their mobile phones. Public radio and television broadcast instructions of how to behave in an emergency.

On Wednesday, volunteers took part in evacuation and decontamination operations in the districts of Švenčionys and Vilnius. An aerial and ground radiation survey was conducted on Thursday.

The authorities said the exercise would involve a total of 24 public institutions and six of the country's 60 municipalities, around 300 officers, soldiers and public servants.

Vilnius municipal officials did not take part after the city and the central government failed to agree on the scenario.

The Lithuanian government says the Astravyets plant under construction some 50 kilometers from Vilnius and less than 30 kilometers from the Lithuanian border fails to meet international safety and environmental standards. Minsk has rejected the allegation.