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Emergency Preparedness

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"To protect public health and safety by developing emergency preparedness plans, procedures, and training activities  to adequately respond to a nuclear incident."

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The Radiological Health Program has a Radiological Emergency Response Team equipped with field instrumentation for monitoring radiation and a mobile laboratory for performing laboratory analysis so that a rapid assessment of a radiological incident can be made and the appropriate recommendations provided to state and local officials.

Some of this equipment may also be used to respond to homeland security incidents. Typical incidents the we have responded to include transportation accidents involving radiological material, and responding to either scrap metal facilities or landfills having radiation monitors that alarmed for incoming shipments. 

The Radiological Health Program also has an important role in the Radiological Emergency Preparedness activities associated with the two nuclear power stations operated by Dominion. The Radiological Health Program’s emergency preparedness activities are coordinated with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, which is responsible for the coordination of the State’s response and the State Emergency Plan (See web site Each year a training exercise is conducted at each of the two nuclear power stations, Surry Nuclear Power Station, and the North Anna Nuclear Power Station.

The emergency plans, training, and exercises are required by the U. S. Federal Code of Regulations Title 44 Part 350. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (See web site is responsible for evaluating the plans and evaluates the state and local government’s performance in the execution of the preparedness plans in planned exercises every other year for each nuclear power station.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for the licensure of nuclear power plants (See web site

The emergency response plan for nuclear power plants is a coordinated effort involving both state and local governments. In the event of a catastrophic radiation accident the state may call upon additional resources such as the U.S. Department of Energy, which in turn can activate the Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan (FERP). The Commonwealth of Virginia is also a signatory of the Southern Mutual Radiation Assistance Plan, which is a regional assistance pact with other states. (See web site for the Southern States Energy Board ( and go to SSEB Publications (electronic) and select Southern Mutual Radiation Assistance Plan.

Radiological incidents should be reported to the Radiological Health Program during regular business hours and to Virginia Department of Emergency Management at (804) 674-2400 or in state toll free at 1-800-468-8892 after hours, on weekends or holidays.

Radiological Health Program | James Madison Building, 7th Floor | 109 Governor Street,  Room 730 | Richmond, VA  23219 | Telephone (804) 864-8150 | Fax: (804) 864-8155

Last Updated: 02-02-2015

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