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Every year, NRC managers and staff members in headquarters and the agency’s four regions participate in nuclear power plant emergency exercises. State and local responders and the plant staff have a crucial role in each of those exercises, but many federal agencies that would be involved in an actual serious nuclear emergency rarely participate. In a little more than a week, the NRC, along with state and local officials in South Carolina, Duke Energy, FEMA and the Department of Energy, will stage a full-scale exercise at the Robinson nuclear plant in South Carolina.
In addition to the NRC, FEMA and DOE, federal agencies participating include the Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Labor, the Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs and the Environmental Protection Agency. Southern Exposure 2015 will begin on Tuesday, July 21, with activities much like the exercises the NRC regularly sees. Victor McCree, the Regional Administrator for Region II, will serve as the NRC’s Site Team Director for Southern Exposure 2015, leading the NRC team in South Carolina.
People living and traveling near the Robinson plant during the exercise may hear and see actions associated with the simulated response. While the likelihood of a severe nuclear accident in this country is low, the Southern Exposure 2015 exercise is designed to allow all the organizations involved, federal, state and local, to address the simulated accident’s effects on the economy, environment and public health – and be better prepared to respond if the events were real. The hurricane season officially began June 1, but this year the Carolina coast experienced a tropical storm named Ana in early May.
How does the NRC oversee the safety of nuclear plants and other facilities during these storms?
The NRC staff monitors tropical storms as they form, and if the projected path is towards the coast, the agency’s regional offices begin continuous tracking. Around 12 hours before predicted hurricane-force winds, nuclear facilities that may be in the path provide the NRC updates and NRC inspectors monitor the plant staff’s actions.
Nuclear plants are built to withstand all expected local meteorological events, including hurricanes, and actual storms have shown that plants can safely shut down and with little or no damage to important safety equipment. The NRC stays in contact with plants and NRC inspectors on site as the storm passes over, and the agency has backup systems if regular communications channels are lost.
Once the storm is over, the NRC and FEMA assess damage and make sure local emergency response organizations can resume their normal roles. Fortunately, most tropical storms and hurricanes do not adversely affect nuclear plants, but the NRC is ready in case one does.
The reason: The NRC and FEMA work together to make sure the commercial nuclear power plants in this country have sirens around their sites to alert the public in the event of a serious incident. Each nuclear plant is required to exercise its emergency plan with offsite authorities at least once every two years – which includes checking the siren systems.
Last year, while preparing for an upcoming emergency exercise at the plant, the National Weather Service inadvertently alerted the public around the Cooper Nuclear Station in Brownville, Neb., of an unspecified emergency at the plant. The weather service quickly realized what happened and sent a message explaining the error to the media 13 minutes later.
Unfortunately, this was the second recent incident about emergencies at the Cooper nuclear plant.
But the bottom line is that residents in the communities around nuclear power plants need to heed the warning, and trust the emergency alert systems.
The NRC’s technical staff, industry executives and a public interest group will brief the Commissioners Thursday on the agency’s efforts to implement what we’ve learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident. About a dozen plants will have made all those modifications except changes closely related to the third Order, which requires Hardened Vents for reactors with designs similar to those at Fukushima.
The NRC staff finished reviewing these plans earlier this month, ahead of schedule, and issued written evaluations to each plant. The staff’s presentation will also cover topics including revising the NRC’s rules in these areas, as well as the ongoing effort to re-evaluate flooding hazards for all U.S. Emergency Preparedness and Response, Operating ReactorsFukushima, mitigation strategies, NRC, NRC. Visitors got a rare glimpse of the NRC’s Operation Center last week when tours were offered as part of the annual Regulatory Information Conference. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Comments on blog posts do not represent official NRC communication, and links to internet sites other than the NRC website do not constitute the agency’s endorsement of that site’s content, policies or products. Girish Bobby Kapur, MD, MPH, Director of Educational Affairs, Baylor College of MedicineJeffrey P.
I spend my life responding to emergencies, often waiting for the so-called “CNN effect” to kick in so that we can raise the funds required to respond to the needs of communities around the world that have been affected by conflict and natural disasters. All too often, the numbers just aren’t big enough or the profile of the crisis is just not sufficient to enable us to secure the funds we need to respond. That’s why I am so excited about CARE’s current programming in partnership with CIDA in Afghanistan, as it actively seeks to respond to this eternal challenge and the persistent gap between emergency and development interventions.
The program not only works with communities to build preparedness and reduce the risk of disasters in advance, but it also includes a ”crisis modifier” that enables CARE to stockpile emergency items and respond to emergencies when they strike, regardless of whether or not the media pays attention and whether or not there is one household or 10,000 affected. In a place like Afghanistan, where decades of conflict have persistently eroded the resilience of the country, we cannot underestimate the importance of this kind of approach. During my most recent trip to Afghanistan, I met communities that had benefited from this very program.


A young mother that I met with during my visit made it clear to me just how important this flexibility to respond really is. She said, “CARE was the only organization that helped us when we were affected by the winter last year.
She and her family had fled their village with nothing and were living in Mazar-e-Sharif without any assistance.
One of my CARE Afghanistan colleagues, who has lived through years of conflict and natural disasters, said she had never seen such difficult conditions and that she broke down in tears after spending an hour in the bitter cold temperatures of these families’ homes.
Natural disasters continue in Afghanistan and are often far from the international community’s radar.
In April 2013, Balkh province was hit by heavy rains and flash floods, destroying more than 1,200 homes and damaging at least 1,400 more. I’m proud of Canada and of CIDA for enabling this response, and for recognizing that even one family devastated by a natural disaster or persistent conflict matters, no matter who is paying attention.
If we don’t build peace in our communities, how can we expect to know it at the national level? As part of the Town of Kindersley's commitment to the safety and well-being of its residents, the Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) Emergency Response Plan was created to assess the potential hazards that are most likely to impact the community or region at large. The chemical spill or dangerous goods accident involving an evacuation of all or a portion of the Town was deemed to have the greatest overall impact on the community and surrounding area. The Emergency Response Plan involves consultation between the Town of Kindersley, RM of Kindersley, emergency response agencies (i.e. The Town of Kindersley's EMO Coordinator facilitates the plan and act as liaison between all the partners and agencies involved. If you are a business man and are looking for latest tender ads in Pakistan then the best way is to search newspapers for Tender ads .
Search latest auctions and tender notices for education, printing , Medical and hospital , college and schools and different ministries including health and defense ministry. The Operations Center will be active with officials participating during the upcoming Southern Exposure 2015 exercise.
The plants are required to exercise their plans every other year, and NRC response team members use these exercises to keep their skills sharp and to identify areas for improvement. On Wednesday, July 22, the NRC will be joined by those other federal agencies in a broad response to the simulated events at the Robinson plant. The NRC will also support the exercise with staff in the regional office in Atlanta and headquarters in Rockville, Md.
It’s a rare opportunity, he said, to work with so many organizations across federal, state and local governments as well as the private sector. These could include response vehicles, field monitoring teams and low-flying aircraft, but the exercise should not affect normal traffic or other activities in the area. Actions taken include performing a plant walkdown to secure and tie down anything that could be become a projectile missile or flying debris. While Ana produced winds of more than 60 miles an hour near the Brunswick nuclear plant, there was no major damage. Nuclear facilities were affected by Hurricane Andrew in Florida in 1992, by Katrina in Louisiana in 2005, by Sandy along the East Coast in 2012 and by many others. If a storm’s path shows the possibility of it affecting a nuclear plant or other NRC-licensed facility, the NRC collects more information on the storm and NRC resident inspectors check the plant’s preparations. Plant procedures require the plant operators to shut the reactor down if winds greater than a certain speed are expected on the plant site.
If the plant shut down, it will only be restarted after the NRC is satisfied there is no damage to safety equipment and emergency response capabilities have been restored. Charles Parish, Louisiana, who live within the 10-mile emergency planning zone for the Waterford 3 nuclear plant, got an unexpected benefit last week when 37 emergency sirens were sounded for a tornado warning. Various federal, state and local agencies also have emergency notification systems they can use to alert the public to a variety of emergencies — including one at a nuclear plant. Charles Parrish got the benefit of the emergency sirens that surround Waterford 3,” said Ron Perry, the Director of Emergency Preparedness for Homeland Security in St.
This helps make sure the plant operator, and state and local authorities, can implement their emergency plans if needed. The weather service was updating the wording of messages stored in a computer system when someone pushed the wrong button.
On July 24, Nebraska Public Power District workers were working on a computer system that controls sirens in Nemaha County when a false alarm was broadcast. During a training class at the state Emergency Operations Center, a staffer inadvertently faxed a partially filled out form for an Alert (the second lowest level of nuclear emergency) at Columbia Generating Station. The NRC tracks the performance of licensee alert and notification systems by measuring the number of successful siren tests conducted quarterly at each plant. These vents would safely relieve pressure in an emergency and help other systems pump cooling water into the core.
The agency is also about ready to issue guidance on how these plants can meet the second part of the Order, which involves an additional vent or other methods to protect the structure surrounding the reactor. Here, NRC officials show off the Executive Team room, from where an NRC response effort would be managed.


Smith, MD, MPH, FACEP is an Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and the School of Public Health at the George Washington University Medical Center.
When a particularly harsh winter struck, they had nothing to keep them warm until CARE intervened. Initial assessments indicated that at least 18,500 people were affected and 17 people killed.
However, thanks to CIDA, CARE Afghanistan was already working with these communities to prepare for and respond to disasters and was among the first to be able to respond to the needs, providing 250 tents and female hygiene kits to those affected.
This plan is modified on an ongoing basis to ensure the most up to date resources and agencies are actively involved in the implementation of the plan should an emergency arise.
RCMP, EMS, Kindersley Fire and Rescue Brigade), Heartland Health Region, crisis and emergency support agencies, and several other important partners.
Using fun activities to explain practical information, parents can teach their children important safety lessons that will help keep them safe from all kinds of hazards both at home and outside in the community. In some cases, a VAWG intervention may not actually be a stand-alone program, but may integrate essential services into existing programs. The exercises provide valuable experience and make each plant’s overall emergency response program better. This exercise will bring together not only the usual exercise participants, but also many other agencies that would have a role in a real event.
The NRC and the other federal agencies will work closely with state and local officials and Duke Energy’s plant operators and managers to achieve the objectives of the exercise. The plant operator has implemented restrictions for employees to stay inside if winds get above 40 mph.
It did, however, serve as an early reminder of the NRC’s role in ensuring nuclear plants remain safe during damaging winds and storm surges. Although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts fewer storms this year than the historical average, any storm can be dangerous. Depending on the projections, additional NRC inspectors may be dispatched to some nuclear plants.
These types of incidents are embarrassing to all involved and in each instance corrective actions have been taken to minimize the chance of future mishaps. If you hear a siren, or get a text message on your phone announcing an emergency, please heed the warning.
Every reactor will also comply by that time with a major Mitigation Strategies requirement – additional, well-protected onsite portable equipment to support key safety measures if an extreme event disables a plant’s installed systems.
All the reactors subject to the Order have completed plans for the first set of vent enhancements or installation of new vents. The NRC’s regional offices will provide their perspective on the overall implementation effort’s progress. Other sections of the center include the Reactor Safety team, the Protective Measures team, the Liaison team and the Public Affairs team, among others. Kapur received his Doctor of Medicine from BCM and a Masters of Public Health from Harvard University.
Smith has completed additional training at George Washington University Medical Center including a Masters in Public Health with an emphasis on international health policy in 2000 and a Master Teacher Program in 2006. Too often, we are unable to do anything to help those same communities prepare for and respond to emergencies in advance, because the funding mechanisms just don’t enable it.
If I think about my own hometown of Kincardine, Ontario, that’s three times the total population and potentially half the houses there. Surrounding communities committed to providing mutual aid in the case of a major incident or emergency are also consulted on an ongoing basis as the plan is updated and modified. In other cases, humanitarian programmers may support local or national institutions to provide care and assistance to women or girls or provide technical assistance to existing VAWG programs that pre-date the emergency. Both units are at full power unless winds reach speeds above 75 mph, but that is not expected at this time.
Some people vented their anger about all the confusion on the county’s Facebook page, and several local TV stations and the Associated Press carried reports about the incident. We expect more than half the fleet will meet those Orders by the end of December, which is a full year before the Orders’ deadline.
Kapur’s training includes an emergency medicine residency at Yale University and an international emergency medicine fellowship at Harvard.
The resident inspectors are not evacuating and an additional group of NRC inspectors has been on site and will remain so to back up the residents if need be. By the time we say good-bye to 2016, almost every reactor will also have made all modifications needed to use those portable systems. Kapur has designed and taught emergency medicine and public health training programs for international physicians, nurses and primary healthcare workers. Kapur currently is developing a new Emergency Medicine residency training program at BCM.Jeffrey P.



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