Tue, Sep 19, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Nuclear safety drill to be held outside plant for first time

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s annual nuclear safety drill is to take place around Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里) from Thursday to Saturday, Atomic Energy Council (AEC) officials said yesterday.

“Since Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant disaster [in 2011], our nuclear safety drills have been upgraded, from centralized ones to those that involve real personnel, venues and situations,” AEC Deputy Minister Chiu Tzu-tsung (邱賜聰) told a news conference in Taipei.

This year’s drill would mobilize about 10,000 personnel, the largest ever, Chiu said, adding that it will be the first time that the drill would be conducted outside as well as inside the plant.

To test the response capabilities of the agencies involved, the council will add “impromptu situations” during the drill without informing those involved in advance, he said.

Chiu is to serve as the drill’s commander-in-chief, while Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan (薛瑞元) and Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Yang Wei-fuu (楊偉甫) are to be deputy commanders.

The drill will be divided into three stages, with two scenarios, the council’s Department of Nuclear Technology section chief Liu Chun-mao (劉俊茂) said, adding that the two versions are different in terms of simulating what devices would break down and when.

The drill would simulate an earthquake tomorrow, with Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) the next day simulating response measures at the nuclear power plant, he added.

National Taiwan University Hospital’s Jinshan (金山) branch and Keelung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital are to conduct drills on rescuing and treating people with radiation injuries.

On Friday, the local governments of New Taipei City, Keelung and Taipei as well as the Ministry of National Defense are conduct a drill on management of public transport and mass evacuations, with the Fuxinggang (復興崗) military base in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) serving as a shelter for evacuees.

AEC Radiation Monitoring Center is to monitor radioactivity in food and in the environment while delivering public warnings.

On Saturday, schools and community centers in New Taipei City and Keelung are to be involved when the simulated emergency situation gets upgraded to a disaster, Liu said.

The worst scenario imaginable would be “a meltdown at a nuclear reactor along with radiation leaks,” Chiu said.

The council has invited foreign officials to observe the drill, including five from Japan’s Cabinet Office and Nuclear Regulation Authority, one from the US Department of Energy and one from the French Office in Taipei, AEC Department of Nuclear Technology Deputy Director Huang Chun-yuan (黃俊源) said.

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