Palo Verde nuclear emergency response test planned

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The state of Arizona, Maricopa County and Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station will be participating in a federally evaluated joint exercise of the Palo Verde Onsite and Offsite Response Plans on Wednesday, March 6.

The exercise will involve more than 400 responders from volunteer organizations, local, county, state and federal agencies, tribal nations and Palo Verde to demonstrate their ability to respond to a simulated emergency condition at Palo Verde.

The exercise will demonstrate activation of emergency response facilities including the emergency operations facilities and a joint information center, development of protective action decisions (e.g., shelter in place and/or evacuation) and deployment of radiological monitoring teams.

Exercises validate the emergency response capability required to ensure health and safety of the public. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission evaluates the onsite emergency plan while the Federal Emergency Management Agency assesses offsite emergency response capabilities. Lessons learned from exercises are used to continuously improve and further strengthen response plans and procedures.

Demonstrations of this type have been held at least two times a year since 1983. The federal government evaluates one exercise every two years.

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