13 July 2011, 17:56

IAEA to check nuclear security in Russia’s Arctic region

IAEA to check nuclear security in Russia’s Arctic region
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The experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are to check the nuclear security of the Archangelsk region in Russia’s north. On Wednesday, two-days emergency control exercises have begun in the city of Severodvinsk. The goal is to check how quickly and efficiently the region can react and withstand the disasters linked to radioactive contamination.

The experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are to check the nuclear security of the Archangelsk region in Russia’s north. On Wednesday, two-days emergency control exercises have begun in the city of Severodvinsk. The goal is to check how quickly and efficiently the region can react and withstand the disasters linked to radioactive contamination.

The Archangelsk region is known as the center of Russia’s nuclear shipbuilding industry and the area where the facilities for utilization of submarines and radioactive wastes are located.

The leading experts of the Russian nuclear industry have established a territorial emergency control system there and during the current Arctic 2011 training the efficiency and quality of this system will be checked.

The exercises will be held at the site of the Zvyozdochka ship repairing plant. This enterprise has been in operation since the early days of the Russian nuclear fleet. Since 1959, dozens of nuclear vessels have been repaired there. The experts of the IAEA will attend the training and watch the maneuvers, the spokesman with the Archangelsk region’s government Roman Sokolov says:

"The operation will be controlled from the government headquarters of the Archangelsk region. Under the training scenario, an emergency situation occurs on a nuclear submarine and should be liquidated. The results of the training will help the experts to assess the readiness of our region to work in emergency situations, the efficiency of forces’ deployment and the quality of information exchange. The components of the emergency control system are located at the Zvyozdochka and Sevmash defense plants in Severodvinsk in the buildings of local departments of the Emergency Ministry and Roshidromet meteorological service."

Special devices will be capturing the data on the current radioactive situation and the forecast of its development. This will enable the regional authorities to reduce the duration of the population alert and decision making process on population protection by 10 minutes.  The regional automatic system of radiation control will become fully operative by September. A similar system is now also operating in the neighboring Murmansk region where the Kolskaya nuclear power plant, the largest nuclear facility in Russia’s north, is located. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has become the initiator and the investor of the radiation monitoring system in Russia’s Arctic region. The interest of Europeans to ensure radioactive security of their northerner neighbor is quite understandable.

The IAEA’s mission will work in the Archangelsk region until July 14.

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