Preliminary Response to Radiological Emergency Planning Exercise Shows No Findings

FULTON, NY – On Friday morning, the participants of Wednesday’s training exercise gathered at the Joint Information Center to hear the preliminary findings of FEMA and the NRC.

“The preliminary results were positive,” said Steve Barr, senior emergency preparedness inspector for the NRC.

In the case of the exercise no news is good news, as neither FEMA nor the NRC found anything critical that needed to be immediately addressed.

Both spokespeople delivered positive feedback to the players involved in simulated general emergency at Nine Mile Point Unit 2.

FEMA evaluated all off-site players which involved more than 20 different agencies from Emergency Management to the Sheriff’s Department and the Health Department to WSYR Radio.

The NRC was responsible for evaluating everything that occurred on-site during the exercise at Unit 2.

“I’m very, very pleased,” said Dale Currier, director of Oswego County Emergency Management.

He added that this year’s drill “was much larger and significantly more complicated than previous exercises.”

These types of federally regulated exercises occur every two years and are necessary for the nuclear facilities to retain their licensing.

The federal entities had a long list of criteria to watch for during the exercise from how the threat was evaluated, decisions were made, and how well information was passed down through briefings and to the public through mock press conferences.

“They did a very good job in both briefing and responding to media questions,” said Rebecca Thomson from FEMA.

Even though this exercise was centered on Nine Mile Point Unit 2, it’s a beneficial practice for any type of emergency in this area, Currier noted.

“The same people would be brought together if there was a huge, crippling snowstorm,” said Currier, giving an example. “So the fact that the drill ran smoothly and all the players worked well together is good news for Oswego County.”

The full evaluation comes out in another 45 days, at which point Emergency Management and Constellation Energy Nuclear Group can see what went well, what changes need to be made and start preparing for two years from now when they do it all over again.