NRC: Nuke plant ready for emergencies
No incidents found during exercise
Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby passed a federal government mandated exercise on how the company responds in an emergency.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission evaluated an emergency preparedness exercise of Units 1 and 2 at CCNPP on Sept. 12. The inspection was completed Sept. 14.
“We did not find any incidence with regards to on site response,” said Neil Sheehan, an NRC spokesperson, in the regulatory agency’s assessment of CCNP emergency plan.
Sheehan explained that plant owners are required to conduct the graded
exercises every two years, which allows the agency to assess how the plant owners and staff respond during a simulated emergency.
“We are looking at how the company handles onsite emergency,” explained Sheehan, of the agency’s focus on response and communications at the plant during the exercise. “Are they categorizing any radiological characteristics properly?”
During the exercise, essential staff manned various centers, to include the Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center, all while interacting with emergency personnel from five federal, 16 state and nearly 30 local governments, to include law enforcement.
Some of the entities participating in the simulation were American
Red Cross, Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center, United States Coast Guard, Maryland State Police, Maryland Department of Environment, Maryland Department of Transportation, and the governments of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties.
“It was a really challenging scenario that put the responders through their paces,” said Sheehan. “It’s a tremendous amount of coordination that needs to take place.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency assessed offsite responses and communications, to include an evaluation of 10-mile emergency planning around the plant.
During the scenario, the responders pondered recommendations of evacuation or shelter in place, which were acted upon.
NRC inspectors examined activities conducted during the scenario, in accordance with the plant’s licenses, as well as assessed plant safety and compliance with the regulatory agency’s rules and regulations. The inspectors reviewed selected procedures and records, observed activities and interviewed personnel, according to a Sept. 26 memo from Raymond McKinley, NRC’s chief of Plant Support Branch 1 Division of Reactor Safety, to CCNP.
NRC’s evaluation was a quick assessment of how things went. FEMA will provide an in-depth assessment of the exercise’s offsite activities at a later date.
“We are committed to operating Calvert Cliffs at world class levels of safety and we value the strong relationships we have with community leaders and first responders to protect the public in the highly unlikely event of an emergency,” said Site Vice President Mark Flaherty in a written statement to The Calvert Recorder.
The next graded exercises on the emergency plan will be conducted in 2019.