FULTON – Full volume tests of the new emergency notification sirens recently installed by Exelon Generation and Entergy Nuclear in the 10-mile emergency planning zone around Nine Mile Point will take place from late June through August.
The installation project is a joint effort by Exelon Generation, which owns and operates Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, and Entergy Nuclear, which owns and operates the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, to upgrade the public warning system in the 10-mile radius around the nuclear power plants.
It includes replacing the 37 existing sirens and installing two additional sirens, as well as the addition of battery backup-power to all 39 sirens.
Three-minute soundings of the complete new system are scheduled for approximately 10 a.m. on June 30; July 14 and July 28.
If any issues are identified on these dates, the three-minute soundings could be followed by short bursts (growl tests) of individual sirens.
Beginning at 9 a.m. Aug. 12, four three-minute soundings of each new siren will take place. During this test, technicians will be stationed near the siren sites to verify that the actual sound coverage is the same as what was predicted in the design.
The rain date for these tests is Thursday, Aug. 13.
The regularly scheduled quarterly testing of the current siren system, which is still being used, will take place the week of Aug. 3 through 7, following the usual pattern of individual tests of each siren once between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
That system will be retired once the newly installed siren system is approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The system is operated by Exelon Generation and serves both of Oswego County’s nuclear facilities.
In an emergency, the sirens would be sounded prior to an Emergency Alert System message, aired on broadcast stations participating in the Oswego County Emergency Alert System, which would tell people why the sirens sounded and what they should do.
“The sirens are not a signal to evacuate,” Oswego County Emergency Management Office Director Dale A. Currier stressed. “People should always consult an EAS station to hear instructions by Oswego County officials on what they should do.”
EAS stations are listed in the 2015 Public Emergency Response Information Calendar, available on the Oswego County website at www.oswegocounty.com/emo
The new sirens will sound at a volume similar to the old ones.
There will be a change to the frequency of testing and details will be shared on these changes.
Until the new system is fully tested and approved by federal officials, the existing system will remain in place.
“We appreciate Exelon Generation’s and Entergy Nuclear’s commitment to public health and safety and the investment they’ve made in the new system,” Currier said. “The new sirens will enhance our ability to warn people of an emergency.”
People with questions regarding the siren tests may contact the Emergency Management Office at 315-591-9150.