Bradley County emergency managers will be among other area officials who will practice a preparedness drill in case of nuclear emergency.
According to a media release by Tennessee Valley Authority officials, TVA and other federal, state and local agencies will hold a regularly scheduled emergency preparedness exercise for the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant on Tuesday.
The practice drill is held every two years, according to Troy Spence, director of Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency.
“The practice drill will involve about 1,000 TVA and state of Tennessee employees and emergency responders in Hamilton and Bradley 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 sound. The drill will also include a Joint Information Center at the TVA offices in Chattanooga,” according to TVA.
Utilities operating nuclear power plants are required by the NRC to conduct emergency exercises annually.
“Every two years, the Department of Homeland Security evaluates the readiness of state and local agencies. Following the graded exercise in October, the Department of Homeland Security will hold a public meeting to discuss the results,” according to TVA.
On Oct. 3, officials will once again meet to hold a full-scale, on-the-ground drill and will put into play what they learned in Tuesday’s upcoming practice session.
More than 5,000 Bradley County residents live in the 10-mile Emergency Preparedness Zone in the western portion of the county, nearest the Sequoyah Nuclear site in Hamilton County.
“We utilize all we learn from these practices and drills to better prepare our county in the event of an emergency. We attribute our involvement in past drills to the mitigation and response and quick recovery [following] our most recent storms and those of April 27, 2011,” Spence said.
“In essence, these drills are specific to nuclear emergency, but we learn better response tactics which we can use in the event of other emergency situations.” Spence added.