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"Exercise Checkerboard" tests Government's response to Daya Bay incident (with photos/video)

     The two-day "Exercise Checkerboard" started today (April 26) to test the response capability of concerned government bureaux and departments in the event of a serious off-site accident at the nuclear power stations at Daya Bay.  The Chief Executive, Chief Secretary for Administration and a number of Principal Officials also took part in the exercise.

     "Exercise Checkerboard" is the largest exercise that the Government has ever held, mobilising over 1,000 officers from more than 30 bureaux and departments. It is also the first of its kind to involve public participation as over 2,000 citizens will take part.

     The exercise scenario unfolded today when an incident happened at the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station and the impact extended beyond the site boundary. The scenario of the exercise today and actions taken by the government include:

     "The Government immediately activated the Daya Bay Contingency Plan (DBCP) and informed the public of the emergency situation through the media.  Several departments enhanced immediately radiation monitoring of air, food, drinking water and sea water.

     The Chief Executive's Steering Group, after convening a meeting, decided to implement precautionary measures in Tung Ping Chau, which is within 20 kilometres from the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station, although the incident has not yet led to radiological release then.

     The Government deployed two helicopters, three police launches and one Customs vessel to evacuate over 100 people on Tung Ping Chau, including students who were having a school picnic, visitors and residents on the island, and swiftly transported them to the Sai Kung Marine Police Base and Ma Liu Shui Pier for radiation checking. The Fire Services Department and Auxiliary Medical Service set up on site decontamination facilities to provide decontamination services in case of need.

     In order to test out implementation of sheltering measures, about 2,000 students from three schools in Tai Po were arranged to stay indoors during the passage of the plume.

     To allay public anxiety, the Government organised a press briefing to give an account on the incident, emphasising that various departments have stepped up monitoring of radiation in the air, drinking water, sea water and food, and clarifying that reservoirs in Hong Kong have not been radiologically contaminated.

     At around 4pm, the situation in the nuclear power station improved and discharge of radioactive substance stopped."

     In the afternoon, the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, inspected the operation at Ma Liu Shui Pier where people were evacuated from Tung Ping Chau and received radiation checking.

     "Our colleagues in the Government and other participants will do their best in the exercise. I hope we can make the best preparation and learn from this exercise, so that we can deal with any emergency situation that might happen in Hong Kong in the future," Mr Lee said.

     The exercise will continue tomorrow.

Ends/Thursday, April 26, 2012
Issued at HKT 22:41


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