July 21, 2015
Fulton -Testing of new emergency notification sirens installed by Exelon Generation and Entergy Nuclear will be held Tuesday, July 28. All sirens will be activated for three minutes at approximately 10 a.m. that morning. Short tests ("growl tests") of individual sirens may follow the full-scale test if any issues are identified.
Post cards announcing the tests, sent to residents in late June, inadvertently included an incorrect date.
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 of 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 in the 10-mile radius around the nuclear power plants.
The final testing for the new siren project will be held Wednesday, Aug. 12 beginning at 9 a.m. 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.
Sirens will also be sounded the week of Aug. 3 through 7, when the regular quarterly testing of the current system is scheduled. Those tests will follow 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 (FEMA).
The siren 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 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.
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