April 01, 2011 09:11
The government has decided to conduct massive emergency drills every year in preparation for radiation leaks from domestic nuclear power plants.
So far they have been staged every three to four years by local administrations in regions that have nuclear power plants, and only a small number of people participated, a senior government official said Thursday. But now the central government is poised to establish a full-scale emergency system.
Another government official said this year the drill will likely be part of an annual nationwide anti-disaster drill dubbed "Safe Korea" on May 2-4, which involves 21 central government agencies, 244 local administrations, and 135 public organizations.
It will focus on the government's initial response to a disaster and resident evacuation in areas near Uljin, Wolseong and Gori nuclear power plants on the east coast.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin on Thursday commented on preparations for the threat of North Korea damaging any of the South's nuclear power plants. In a TV debate hosted by the Korean Broadcasting Reporters Club, he said, "We're going to reinforce the protection of nuclear power plants and other major facilities in consultation with other government agencies," he said.
He claimed the government has already established a combined civilian-military defense system for several major facilities including nuclear power plants and conducting regular drills in these areas.
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