Agencies Discuss Disaster Drill
The mock disaster drill involving multiple governmental agencies took place at Ameren's Callaway Nuclear Power Plant on Wednesday, August 8, 2007.
"Down in Gasconade we actually had a train accident there, a fire and hydrous ammonia was involved so we had to evacuate different towns around the area there," said Dan Trokey of Ameren.
No need to sound the alarm because the threat to Gasconade only exists in the mind of Trokey. He comes up with mock emergencies like the one at the Callaway Nuclear Plant on Wednesday. FEMA, SEMA, Ameren, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission joined together to simulate an emergency.
"This year's scenario started off with a steam generator tube rupture at the plant we had an airborne release go off site, and we had a hazmat accident down in Gasconade County, and we had numerous accidents on the road," Trokey said.
Emergency responders and volunteers from Callaway, Gasconade, Montgomery and Osage counties also participated in the drill. These kinds of exercises test established plans, reaffirm training of personnel, and evaluate the ability of government and plant personnel to safeguard the public in an emergency. Regular drills prepared the plant for a fire that broke out last spring.
"Because we had played these exercises annually for such a longtime, a lot of the players had not changed," said Edward Gray of SEMA. "So when we had the real response, when we needed the real response, it was there."
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires a drill involving outside support agencies to be conducted every two years. The NRC can't issue an operating license to the Callaway Nuclear Plant without the assurance that plans are in place to protect public health and safety. A final report on Wednesday's exercise will be released to the state in 90 days.