The first thing people should do in case of an accident at the Astravyets nuclear power plant in Belarus is to stay indoors, Edgaras Geda of Lithuania's Fire and Rescue Department says.
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"If some accident happens and people need to be informed, we will immediately release a message, and there are three steps you need to take after receiving it, and that is to go indoors, stay indoors and wait for information," Geda told a meeting at the parliament of a special group on Lithuania's preparation for a possible accident in Astravyets.

According to the FRD representative, one should not rush into evacuation after learning of an accident as the pollution level outdoors would be higher than that indoors.

"Pollution is lower indoors than outdoors, and people should not rush into evacuation as pollution might be higher outside," Geda said.

In his words, information about any accident would reach people via warning messages, via the media, and sirens would also be switched on.

"There are three possible information channels, including sirens, phone messages and radio and TV announcements. If some accident happens and we need to inform people, we would use all those channels to spread the message," the FRD representative said.

In his words, potassium iodide products should be used only upon a separate recommendation. "Potassium iodide products should be used only in cases when there's such a recommendation. And we would issue such a recommendation upon receipt of information from the Ministry of Health," Geda said.

A temporary group of the Lithuanian Seimas on Wednesday discussed the country's preparation for a possible nuclear or radiological accident at the Astravyets nuclear power plant under construction close to the Lithuanian border.

The group discussed the readiness of the country's institutions to such challenges and what actions would be taken.

Those invited to the meeting included representatives of the Ministries of the Interior, Energy, Foreign Affairs and Health, as well as specialists from the Fire and Rescue Department, Radiation protection Center, State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate, Environmental Protection Agency and Lithuanian Hydrometeorological Service.

Lithuania claims Belarus is building the nuclear facility 50 km from Vilnius in breach of safety requirements, which Minsk denies.

BNS
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