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State agencies, towns, partners participate in radiological exercise



posted at 4:27 pm Tue May 12th, 2015 by (WherezIt_Staff)

The Vermont Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security and its state and local partners will take part in a biennial graded exercise of its radiological response plan on Wednesday May 13th.

The drill will test the state's ability to respond to a hostile action event at or around the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant beginning at approximately 9 AM and continuing until mid-afternoon.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conduct the exercises every two years in states that are within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant to gauge state's abilities to respond to a radiological event. Vermont Yankee shut down its reactor in December of 2014 but federal law dictates graded exercises be conducted around the plant until further notice.

A graded Hostile Action Based (HAB) radiological exercise has not been conducted in Vermont in several years. Law enforcement will have a heightened role in the exercise demonstrating coordination and communication from its incident command post. The Vermont Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and EOCs at towns in the Emergency Planning Zone around the plant (those within 10-miles: Vernon, Brattleboro, Dummerston, Halifax, Guilford, and Marlboro), will also need to show coordination and communication between each other. Vermont state agencies and neighboring states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts will take part.

The public may see exercise activity as plume tracking teams will be in the field (wearing white suits and carrying monitoring equipment), but the "hostile action" associated with the exercise will be simulated on paper only - scenarios communicated to players by exercise controllers.

Dozens of evaluators will be following players and scoring their performance. Functions that need improvement would need to be addressed and corrected at a later date.

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Mark Bosma
Public Information Officer
VT Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security
(800) 347-0488
http://vtalert.gov

Relevant Address(es):
Waterbury, VT 05676 (Set as Local)

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