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NDMA, NPCIL train villagers near Tarapur plant to prepare them for nuclear disaster

June 11, 2011 - Tarapur

An emergency exercise was carried out in Veni village near the Tarapur nuclear facility in Maharashtra on Saturday for locals and district administration on their preparedness for any nuclear radiation emergency.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with public enterprise Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) conducted the mock drill.

Scientific Officer with NPCIL Dhananjay Akhre said villagers were informed beforehand about the mock drill to prevent any kind of panic among them.

"In last 25 years, we have carried out 12 exercises. This is the 12th exercise that we are conducting. We have involved the public this time and we have told, we have taken so many meetings in this village, we have told what will be done and what should be their response, and how they should behave, and how they should cooperate so that in case of actual emergency, they will be taken care of by the department and the government," Akhre said.

"This whole programme started two months before with meeting with the district collector and dates were decided because so many agencies are getting involved security agency, police agency, medical agency, district health agency, so many disaster agency. So, many agencies get involved; the schedule plan was made, completely in procedure available. Offset emergency procedure is available, as per that procedure all activities are going on," he added.

The mock drill was carried out at various steps- beginning from announcement of radiation, to a medical team being deployed for evacuation.

Locals too were thoroughly involved in the mock drill, playing their part actively.

"There was a meeting held before in which we were told about the facilities like medicines et al, that will be given during radiation. We were also informed that during radiation, one should not get out of the house and always cover the mouth. If the radiation level increases then we are supposed to consume tablets given to us. And if situation gets even worse, we were told we would be taken to the next village for treatment," said Chandrasekhar, a local.

The gaps found in coordination and response-preparedness would be addressed by all concerned.


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