Emergency Preparedness

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

The Office of Radiological Health 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.

This equipment may also be used to respond other incidents such as transportation accidents involving radiological material, scrap metal facility or landfill radiation monitor alarms, radioactive material handling accidents and homeland security incidents involving radiological or nuclear material.

The Office of Radiological Health has an important role in the Radiological Emergency Preparedness activities associated with the two nuclear power stations operated by Dominion.  Radiological emergency plans, training and exercises are required by the U. S. Federal Code of Regulations Title 44 Part 350 and are coordinated with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for evaluating response plans as well as state and local government performance in the execution of those plans during graded exercises each year, alternating years for each of the two nuclear power stations (see FEMA REP Program).

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is responsible for the licensure of nuclear power plants (see www.nrc.gov/).

Emergency preparedness for nuclear power plants is a coordinated effort involving federal, state and local governments.  In the event of a catastrophic accident, the state may call upon additional resources such as the U.S. Department of Energy, which in turn may activate the Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan.

The Commonwealth of Virginia is also a signatory of the Southern Mutual Radiation Assistance Plan (SMRAP), which is a regional assistance pact with other states. See web site for the Southern States Energy Board at www.sseb.org, go to SSEB Publications and select Southern Mutual Radiation Assistance Plan.