In case of an accident at one of the nuclear power plants, a system of sirens and special tone-alert weather radios is in place to alert residents in a 10-mile radius of the plants to any actions they may be asked to take.
Thirty-seven sirens are located in heavily populated areas throughout the 10-mile area surrounding the plants. These sirens will sound a loud, high-pitched alarm for three to five minutes. When they sound, residents should turn on their commercial radios or televisions to an Emergency Alert System (EAS) station to hear information about the emergency.
In areas that are out of hearing range of the sirens, residents are provided with special "single-station alert" radios tuned to a National Weather Service frequency. These tone-alert weather radios will sound an alarm to warn residents of an emergency, and a message will tell them to turn their AM or FM radios or televisions to an EAS station to hear information on the incident.
While the concept of emergency preparedness for nuclear power plants has been in place since 1947, the 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island Unit 2 Nuclear Power Plant in Pennsylvania shifted more emphasis onto public protection.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is responsible for the evaluation of off-site planning. Before an operating license is granted to a utility, the State must have a FEMA-approved emergency plan.
The occurrence of a serious nuclear plant emergency is unlikely due to the numerous safety features designed into the nuclear units. Should a plant emergency occur, however, an emergency plan that fully meets regulatory requirements is in place.
The primary objective of the utility's comprehensive plan is to assess emergency situations and take protective actions in order to:
To aid in accomplishing this, nuclear power plant station personnel will immediately:
Once the event is classified, nuclear power plant station personnel will promptly notify:
The severity of the event will determine the level of emergency planning to be activated by the utility, Oswego County, and New York State. In the event a serious emergency occurs at the plant, Oswego County and New York State may take prescribed public protective actions.
The protective actions could include one or more of the following:
Questions about Oswego County Emergency Management?