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Nuclear Preparedness

  • 2020-2021 Emergency Planning for the Nine Mile Point and/or James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Station
  • KI and Radiation Emergencies
  • Information for Farmers
  • New York State Information for the Agricultural Community

    county-eoc-2007Nuclear Preparedness

    In case of an incident at one of the nuclear power plants, a system of sirens is in place to alert residents in a 10-mile radius of the plants to any actions they may be asked to take.

    Forty sirens are located 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.

    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 nuclear power plant's comprehensive plan is to assess emergency situations and take protective actions in order to:
    • Minimize the consequences of the event
    • Protect the health and safety of the public and the plant's employees
    • Minimize damage to plant equipment and components
    • Maintain the confidence of the public and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in the safe operation of the plants
    To aid in accomplishing this, nuclear power plant station personnel will immediately:
    • Acknowledge and determine the cause of the event
    • Assess the potential effects of the event
    • Classify the event
    Once the event is classified, nuclear power plant station personnel will promptly notify:
    • County officials
    • State officials
    • Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

    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:
    • Exposure and contamination control
    • Shelter-in-place instructions for an area
    • Evacuation of an area
    • Ingestion of KI
    • Access control
    • Food, water, and livestock feed control
Potassium Iodide (KI)
Potassium Iodide, known by its chemical symbol KI, is an over-the-counter medication. In the event of a serious nuclear power plant emergency, KI can be used to supplement sheltering-in-place and evacuation. Oswego County provides KI in 65 mg tablets to people who live within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone surrounding the nuclear power plants. KI is available at the Emergency Management office and the Health Department, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Questions about Oswego County Emergency Management?