Nuclear Reactor Drills

Title: Safety Drill At Plant Vogtle Puts Some In Panic As Sirens Are Tested
Date: November 30, 2011
Source: WRDW News

Abstract: The sirens blasted, and this was part of the message that people heard on TV or over their tonal radios:
"This is a drill. This is only a drill. Emergency response agencies in Georgia and South Carolina are conducting a simulated emergency at Plant Vogtle."

Overall, the message indicated it was a drill nine times, but many people were still caught off guard.

"Some people may not get that message and may not have the information, and those people may hear the siren and not realize what's happening," said Roger Hannah, the senior public affairs officer for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Region II office out of Atlanta.

He says "nuclear" is still a word that scares some people, so communication is key.

"It is. I think there are people that have questions about the operation of nuclear plants," he said.

If you were caught off guard, he says that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's better than not hearing the sirens or getting the alert.

"The best result of that is the sirens do work, so there were some sort of event at the plant, the sirens would be there, would be functional and would be available to alert people that something was going on," he said.

The test is especially critical for neighbors living within the Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ). That's a 10-mile radius around Plant Vogtle. It includes parts of Burke, Aiken, Barnwell and Allendale counties.

"It's something that happens annually, every year, and, you know, I think this proves that it's good, that it works, that it keeps people alert," said Katherine Melvin, a communications coordinator in public affairs at South Nuclear, Plant Vogtle's operator.

She says the media were notified through an advertisement, but here at News 12, we didn't get it. Hannah says they're not required by the NRC to alert the media of a drill, but Melvin says if it were an actual emergency, media would definitely be notified.

Melvin says that safety is the primary goal out there. Tuesday night's drill was to simply test the system to make sure it's working. It was coordinated with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the Burke County EMA.

Another important note, all those people living within that 10-mile radius are required to have a tonal radio for alerts.

And for those people outside that radius, there's a good place to find emergency numbers and procedures (WRDW, 2011)

Title: Bucks Hold Nuclear Drill At Souderton Firehouse
Date: December 9, 2011
Source: Philly Burbs

Abstract: They set up the radiation contamination tents and showers in workmanlike fashion Wednesday night inside the Perseverance Fire Co. station in Souderton.

It was as if they had done the exercise just yesterday.

But it has been more than two years since Souderton firefighters have gone through the drill to handle the anticipated thousands of people that would use the decontamination center in the event of a nuclear accident at the Limerick Generating Station in Montgomery County.

The fire companies in Souderton and Trevose are charged with operating the two Bucks County reception and decontamination centers that will test residents for radiation following a disaster at the Limerick power plant. Those centers will be at the County Line Plaza just off County Line Road and Route 113 in Hilltown and in the parking lot of the Neshaminy Mall.

Peter D. Ference, the 911 coordinator for Bucks County said that 17,000 people are expected to be sent to the facilities.

He said the governor will order people to leave the area within a 10-mile radius of the power plant. They will be sent to the decontamination centers in Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Lehigh and Berks counties.

Ference said only about 20 percent of the people told to go to the centers would likely show up. “That’s where we get the 17,000 figure.”

Ference was joined by observers from both the federal and state emergency management agencies as well as emergency preparedness specialist from Exelon, the operator of the Limerick facility.

They watched as firefighters playing the role of evacuated residents were examined for radiation exposure.

A hand-held wand, called a surface survey meter, checked the “victims” for signs of radiation contamination. According to Chris Rappold, a Souderton firefighter who is the company’s hazardous materials technician, if radiation is detected, a person would remove articles of clothing to see if its localized there.

If the radiation is detected on the person than he or she will go inside a decontamination tent to be showered and scrubbed.

Ference said once people are cleared they will be sent to a mass care facility. If they are contaminated, they will be taken to Abington Memorial or Holy Redeemer hospitals, designated by the county to handle radiation victims.

Souderton Fire Chief Al Sergio said his company has been part of the Bucks County emergency plan for about eight years. The decontamination tents, showers and other equipment are housed in a Bucks County trailer on the Souderton lot.

Sergio said all the Souderton crew members have had hazardous materials training.

However, the fire chief said that while his people will be up to the task if called upon, he couldn’t fathom what it would actually be like if there were a nuclear accident.

“I would imagine that the people would be lined up like cordwood outside our tents waiting to be examined,” he said (Philly Burbs, 2011).

Title: Tepco Holds First Tokyo Quake Drill Since 3/11
July 31, 2012
Japan Times

Tokyo Electric Power Co. carried out an earthquake drill Monday to prepare for the chaos that will erupt when a major temblor hits the capital.

The exercise, usually carried out each year, has been suspended since the Great East Japan Earthquake hit on March 11, 2011, triggering three core meltdowns at Tepco's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The event brought together some 300 Tepco representatives, including President Naomi Hirose and Chairman Kazuhiko Shimokobe, who both took office in June.

Participants practiced their responses to a hypothetical quake logged at upper 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale to 7 that strikes below Koto Ward in central Tokyo.

The scenario assumes quake-induced damage to thermal power plants, power transmission facilities and substations in many places in the greater Tokyo area.

Heat Fells Pair at No. 1
The nationwide heat wave knocked out two workers at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 plant Sunday who were removing debris, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The two — one in his 30s and the other in his 50s — are in stable condition, the utility said, adding that special cooling clothing worn under their radiation suits failed to work.

In the nearby town of Namie, the mercury peaked at 33.3 degrees Sunday (Japan Times, 2012).

Title: City Breached At Three Spots In Anti-Terror Drill
October 6, 2012
Mumbai Mirror

Terrorists’ on Friday managed to breach coastal security cover in and around Mumbai thrice and managed to enter the city at two sensitive landing points during the bi-annual Sagar Kavach exercise, a two-day mock drill that tests the preparedness of various agencies responsible for the city’s security.

Sources said the Gateway of
India, near where Pakistani terrorists landed during the 26/11 terror strike that killed 166 people, witnessed two chilling breaches.

The attacking ‘red’ team managed to hijack a fishing vessel, land near the Gateway monument, before disappearing in the crowd without being challenged by the defending ‘blue’ team, just like the 10 terrorists had done on November 26, 2008.

In another instance, the red team hijacked a private yacht berthed off Gateway and set sail towards the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, one of the city's most vital installations, and demanded the release of convicted terrorist Ajmal Qasab and $50,000 in ransom.

The final breach was along the iconic Marine Drive, as an intruding team landed at the promenade and made its way into the Taraporewala Aquarium.

There was also a scare at the Tarapur Atomic Power Station in Thane district, where an attack party was caught just in time barely 400 metres away from the plant.

The blue team, however, was not without its moments of success as it managed to neutralise intruders on five occasions, including at the Sassoon Docks, Ferry Wharf off P D'Mello Road, and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.

“We witnessed eight intrusions in the city during the exercise, of which we succeeded in foiling five,” DCP Port Zone, Tanaji Ghadge told Mumbai Mirror. He did not specify further and said the results of the exercise will be jointly analysed by all security agencies.

Sources said a bunch of ‘terrorists’ took control of a yacht belonging to Ambuja Cements Limited that was berthed off the Gateway of
India. The hijacking caught the attention of a team of costal police patrolling the region.

“But the ‘terrorists’ quickly sailed away and our patrolling boat could not match the yacht’s speed,” said a senior police officer who did not wish to be named. “The terrorists held the crew and passengers for ransom and demanded $50,000 and the release of convicted terrorist Ajmal Qasab in return for the safe release of those on board.”

Once the hijacking was successful, the command control of the operation informed the Mumbai police of this successful intrusion and the yacht was eventually returned to its berth.

Meanwhile, a small boat carrying a few ‘terrorists’ reached Gateway and managed to sneak into the city. Their abandoned boat was recovered much later by a police patrol party.

In Tarapur, the blue team managed to nab the red team in the nick of time. “We realised there was a breach after the red team landed on the shore,’’ said a senior Thane police officer, who did not want to be named.

Ravindranath, site director, Tarapur Atomic Power Station, said, “I was present till 7 pm on Friday and I am not aware of any such incident. But I will check this. We have the CISF guarding us.’’

Among the blue team’s other successes was the interception and arrest of a team of 14 ‘terrorists’ who attempted to sneak into the city at Sassoon Docks posing as fishermen returning from a long fishing trip.

In places outside Mumbai, the red team was successfully repelled at Alibaug, Murud and Shrivardhan, the Raigad police said. The Thane rural police succeeded in nabbing the intruders at Uttan, Vasai, Palghar and Boisar.

SPS Basra, commander, Coast Guard (West), was the coordinating officer for the exercise, the debriefing session for which is likely to be held at Mantralaya on Saturday.

The operation involved about 5,000 security personnel from various agencies like the Indian Navy, Mumbai police, Coast Guard, coastal police, customs department, Central Industrial Security Force, Maharashtra Maritime Board, Mumbai Port Trust and the fisheries department.

The defending security agencies are merely alerted that the exercise is on, and have to maintain tight vigil in their jurisdiction to thwart intrusions.

Both the ‘terrorists’ and the security forces are fully armed, but rules prohibit use of firepower. Intrusions are not limited to the coast and vessels. On one occasion in the past, ‘terrorists’ attempted to sneak into a luxury hotel in a western suburb and some monumental buildings in south Mumbai.

In case the enemy teams are caught with weapons, they immediately share a secret code to confirm their identity and avoid an armed confrontation. Enemy teams are not restricted to breaching coastal security. They can also cultivate sleeper cells in the city and take their support to capture vital installations once they manage to gain entry by sea.

The Sagar Kavach operation, initially held only along Mumbai’s coast, has since expanded to include the coastal areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Chandra Iyengar, who was the additional chief secretary (home) when the first such exercise was held post-26/11, said the operation has helped strengthen coordination between various agencies and identify their deficiencies.

“It has helped them reduce internal hassles also,” said Iyengar. “Coastal security is not compromised. The preparedness of every agency is tested and people learn from their mistakes’’
(Mumbai Mirror, 2012).

Title: MSDF, Japan Coast Guard To Conduct First Nuclear Plant Terror Drill
October 20, 2012
Japan Times

The Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Japan Coast Guard on Tuesday will conduct their first joint drill against a terrorist attack targeting a nuclear plant, the MSDF said Friday.

The drill to track and monitor suspicious vessels and prevent their approach will be held in Wakasa Bay in the Sea of Japan off Fukui Prefecture, the MSDF said. By prefecture, Fukui hosts the most reactors, at 14. All of Japan's nuclear plants are coastal.

The MSDF and the coast guard have held 10 joint exercises since the intrusion into Japanese waters of two North Korean spy boats off the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture in March 1999.

The upcoming joint drill will be the first to counter a suspected terrorist vessel being used to attack an atomic plant, the MSDF said.

In the joint exercise, six vessels, including a destroyer and patrol boats, and two helicopters will be deployed. A Japan Coast Guard patrol vessel will play the role of the intruder, according to the MSDF.

The drill is aimed at enhancing information-sharing between the two forces and to practice refueling a coast guard helicopter aboard an MSDF destroyer, instead of JCG cutters, which also operate choppers.

In the drill, the coast guard will track and stop the suspicious vessel, while the MSDF will provide backup by supplying information.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda pledged at the Nuclear Security Summit held in Seoul in March to hold joint drills of the MSDF and the coast guard as well as of the police and the Ground Self-Defense Force to bolster readiness for possible nuclear terrorism (Japan Times, 2012).