The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

May 7, 2013

Browns Ferry drill scheduled Wednesday

From staff reports
The News Courier

— The Tennessee Valley Authority and other federal, state and local agencies will conduct a scheduled emergency-preparedness drill Wednesday for Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant. 

The drill will involve about 1,000 TVA and state of Alabama employees and emergency responders in Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison and Morgan counties. Residents of these counties may see radiological monitoring teams or other emergency responders in action as part of the drill and may hear on-site and off-site sirens. The drill also will include the setup of an information center at Calhoun Community College’s fine arts building in Decatur.

The drill is preparation for another exercise in June, when representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will evaluate responders’ actions to ensure public health and safety in a simulated emergency.

The activity is part of a long-term drill and exercise program. The NRC requires utilities with nuclear power plants to conduct emergency drills and exercises annually.

Every two years, FEMA evaluates the readiness of state and local agencies.  Following the graded exercise in June, FEMA and the NRC will conduct a public meeting to discuss the results.

The Tennessee Valley Authority provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system.