In Monica Ray’s experience, preparing for the unlikely event of an emergency at Arizona Public Service’s Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station requires coordination and communication. From comparing lessons learned with emergency response teams at other nuclear energy facilities to updating the Arizona Division of Emergency Management on new protective actions, Palo Verde’s director of emergency preparedness and security is constantly facilitating communication between groups inside and outside of the industry to ensure that the facility and the community are prepared for any potential emergency.
Nuclear Plant Security
2:01 pm EDT
2:50 pm EDT
Thanks to intense storm preparations and layer upon layer of safety systems, 24 nuclear reactors at 15 facilities from North Carolina to New England were fully prepared when Hurricane Irene struck the Eastern Seaboard late this summer.
Operators of the 24 East Coast nuclear energy facilities began preparations several days in advance of the storm, in compliance with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) guidelines and the plants’ comprehensive emergency preparedness plans.
“We knew we needed to pre-staff our emergency facilities with a key team of responders,” said Mickey Chanda, emergency preparedness manager at Exelon’s Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, located near the New Jersey shoreline. “Together with senior site and corporate leadership, we developed a plan to bring in this team long before travel conditions became hazardous. We met with those employees two days in advance of the storm, explained to them that their only role was to be at their emergency facility and ready to spring to action if needed.”
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4:08 pm EDT
- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told a United Nations special session on nuclear safety and security that the Fukushima Daiichi energy facility will achieve cold shutdown by the end of the year. Noda said Thursday that Japan will disclose all information related to the accident and share with the international community lessons learned from the accident. Noda said that the level of radioactive material has fallen to around one four-millionth of the level seen earlier in the year.
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8:49 am EDT
Guest Commentary by Maria Korsnick
Chief Nuclear Officer, Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG)
Member of the Fukushima Response Steering Committee
It is hard to believe that six months have passed since a massive earthquake and a tsunami with a 45-foot wall of water struck Japan on March 11, causing death, injuries, and millions and millions of dollars in destruction.
This tragedy is still on our minds and our thoughts are with the Japanese people.
The natural disaster also severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, prompting important and valid questions about the nuclear energy industry’s safety, security and ability to respond to a myriad of “what if” scenarios.
One fact is clear: Nuclear plant operators go to great lengths to produce electricity safely, reliably and economically. Multiple layers of physical security, back-up systems to the back-up systems and high levels of operational performance protect the employees, public and the environment.
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2:12 pm EDT