USEC Pleased with Results of Emergency Exercise
By WestKyStar Staff
WEST PADUCAH, KY - With the help of several local emergency response agencies, USEC successfully completed a major emergency exercise Wednesday at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.
The exercise began around 8:30 am and the complex scenario continued to play out over the course of the morning. In addition to USEC’s own emergency teams, the drill also involved several community response agencies. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission evaluated the response and will issue a formal report at a later date.
“We truly appreciate the outstanding support from our community partners,” said April Tilford, who works in emergency management and helped coordinate the exercise. She explained that USEC has mutual aid agreements in place with several local emergency response organizations to provide additional resources should they be needed during a plant emergency.
Participants in today’s exercise included the McCracken County Office of Emergency management, all the McCracken County fire departments, the City of Paducah Fire Department, McCracken County Sheriff’s department, Mercy Ambulance Service, and both Lourdes and Western Baptist hospitals. Purchase District Health Department staff also observed. Exercises at PGDP also involve the U.S. Department of Energy and its onsite contractors.
The emergency drill involved the simulated crash of small, single engine airplane into one of the plant support facilities, causing a fire and a hazardous material release. Plant personnel took appropriate steps to protect both the public and employees on site from potential hazards, stabilize plant operations and bring the situation under control.
There were reports of a threat issued prior to the exercise, but USEC officials had no confirmation or official word on the rumor, which was passed by an employee to a WKYX/WestKentuckyStar reporter while on plant property.