SECURITY SERVICE OF BALAKOVO NPP HUNTING AFTER PANIC-MONGERS

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SARATOV, November 6 (RIA Novosti) -The security service of the Balakovo nuclear power plant are trying to detect individuals who spread rumors of an alleged major disaster at the station. "These people may have to pay a high price for their actions," an official from the plant's public relations department told RIA Novosti.

According to the information currently at the disposal of Alexander Rabadanov, the Civil Defense and Emergencies Minister of the Saratov Region, "some unidentified individuals called a number of the Region's enterprises, colleges and universities and, guising themselves as the Ministry's officials, recommended that people should urgently put on gauze face veils and take iodine-containing drugs."

A spokesman for the regional office of the Federal Security Service (FSB) said that his agency was not taking part in the investigation.

"This investigation is fully under the jurisdiction of Rosatom [Russia's Agency for Nuclear Energy], the Balakovo atomic power plant and the Federal Emergencies Ministry," the spokesman told RIA Novosti.

In the small hours of Saturday, the second unit of the Balakovo atomic power plant was put back into operation after a brief shutdown for minor repairs, the official of the NPP's public relations department told RIA Novosti.

"The plant has been working in its routine mode. The background radiation is as usual within the natural range traditionally registered in the European part of Russia," the official said.

The second unit of the Balakovo NPP was shut down on November 4 after sensors had detected leak of pure desalted water feeding steam generators.

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