Public Health & Safety

San Luis Obispo County Health Agency’s Emergency Preparedness Program Manager Michelle Shoresman

San Luis Obispo County Health Agency’s Emergency Preparedness Program Manager Michelle Shoresman

In their daily routines, a firefighter and a nurse are unlikely to sit side by side and develop an emergency response plan. Yet this collaboration is essential to emergency preparedness and is an example of the unlikely synergies that keep Michelle Shoresman motivated in her role as emergency preparedness program manager at the San Luis Obispo County Health Agency on California’s Central Coast. Shoresman works with a wide array of partners to synchronize emergency response plans and ensure that the health of those in her community is protected at all times. One of the primary partners in safety is the local nuclear energy facility, PG&E’s Diablo Canyon.
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Employees gather at the Beaver Valley emergency operations facility during a recent training drill.  (Click to enlarge.)

Employees gather at the Beaver Valley emergency operations facility during a recent training drill.

Every nuclear energy facility in the country has a detailed plan for responding to an emergency, and emergency operations facilities (EOFs) are an integral part of these plans. Demonstrating their commitment to emergency preparedness, FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. (FENOC) built new EOFs for each of their three plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania, which are used to facilitate public health and safety activities during an emergency.

“A lot of thought and effort went into the design of these facilities to make sure they would meet the needs of both our employees as well as the local, state and federal agencies we would work with during an emergency,” Glenn McKee, FENOC’s fleet emergency preparedness manager said.
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Equipment-sharing program at Memphis, Phoenix locations augments industry protocol to pool safety equipment in event of emergencies

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 25, 2012—The nuclear energy industry is adding another layer of safety and public protection by developing regional centers for critical equipment that could be needed to maintain safety in the event of an extreme event at America’s nuclear energy facilities. All companies that operate nuclear energy facilities approved a contract to develop two regional response centers managed by Pooled Equipment Inventory Co.

The regional response centers will be located near Memphis and Phoenix and capable of delivering supplemental emergency equipment to any of America’s nuclear energy facilities within 24 hours, enabling them to safely manage a loss of electrical power and/or cooling water supply. The equipment and materials provided by the regional response centers supplement the additional portable equipment purchased at all 64 nuclear energy facilities that also can be utilized and shared during a site emergency.

Pooled Equipment Inventory Co. has been providing a shared inventory service to meet emergent equipment needs to the nuclear industry for more than 30 years. The company has established an alliance with AREVA to implement the regional response centers by expanding its capability to provide services that include emergency response planning, procurement and outage services.

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Emergency Preparedness and Security Director Monica Ray communicates with her team during a drill exercise.

Emergency Preparedness & Security Director Monica Ray communicates with her team during a drill exercise. (Click to enlarge.)

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.

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The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

A new study by the Electric Power Research Institute that examines options for minimizing the release of radioactive materials in a severe nuclear accident says that a combination of strategies would be more effective than any single measure.The EPRI report looked at boiling water reactors with Mark I and Mark II containment designs, similar to those involved in the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident. The study notes that, while the accident did not have a long-term effect on public health and safety, it did result in “widespread contamination” of surrounding areas.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First