FEMA to evaluate nuclear emergency preparedness in Virginia

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will evaluate the Biennial Emergency Preparedness Exercise next week at the North Anna Power Station in Virginia.

The exercise is intended to measure Virginia's ability to respond to an emergency at a nuclear facility.

"These drills are held every other year to evaluate government's ability to protect public health and safety," MaryAnn Tierney, the regional administrator for FEMA Region III, said. "We will assess state and local emergency response capabilities within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone as well as the adjacent support jurisdictions within the Commonwealth of Virginia."

FEMA will present preliminary findings from the emergency preparedness assessment on July 11 at a public meeting at the Richmond Marriott West in Glen Allen, Va. Representatives from FEMA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Commonwealth of Virginia are scheduled to speak at the event.

FEMA will send the results of its assessment to the NRC within 90 days for use in licensing decisions. The final report will be available to the public approximately four months from the exercise at the power station.

The evaluation is part of FEMA's Radiological Emergency Preparedness program, which is intended to ensure the safety of those living near commercial nuclear power plants and inform the public about radiological emergency preparedness.