Chris Schulz Published

Federal Test Of State’s Nuclear Emergency Response Set For Next Week

Steam emits from two typical concrete cooling towers above a power plant.
The cooling towers at the Beaver Valley Station
Courtesy of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Pennsylvania and West Virginia will be tested next week on their preparedness for a nuclear accident. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will conduct a Preparedness Exercise at the Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, June 11.

The exercise aims to assess the ability of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and State of West Virginia to respond to an emergency at the nuclear facility.

“These drills are held every other year to evaluate government’s ability to protect public health and safety,” said MaryAnn Tierney, regional administrator for FEMA Region 3. “We will assess state and local government emergency response capabilities within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and State of West Virginia.”

Beaver Valley is located less than 6 miles up the Ohio River of West Virginia’s northernmost point, where it borders both Ohio and Pennsylvania.

A final report will be available to the public approximately four months after the exercise. The evaluation will be used in licensing decisions for the nuclear plant. 
FEMA created the Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program to ensure the health and safety of citizens living around commercial nuclear power plants in the event of an accident and to educate the public about radiological emergency preparedness.