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South Texas Project participates in emergency drill

By adriana_acosta
May 9, 2012 at 12:09 a.m.

On Wednesday, South Texas Project, in coordination with local and state officials, participated in an evaluated NRC/FEMA Emergency Response Exercise.

State, local and South Texas Project emergency response teams filled the Joint Information Command Center on Wednesday after an incident at the nuclear plant involving failure of a small electrical breaker.

No injuries were reported. Local schools evacuated.

This of course, was a drill.

South Texas Project, in coordination with local and state officials, participated in the graded drill conducted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"These graded exercises are conducted every other year," said Buddy Eller, general manager, Corp. Communications and public affairs for STP.

Working together in the exercises demonstrates the ability to protect the health and safety of the public in the event an emergent issue at the nuclear plant may occur or in the surrounding area, he said.

The Matagorda County Emergency Operation Center sets up at the Matagorda County Sheriff's Office.

A mock media press conference is held every hour, with volunteers acting as media and asking questions about an event.

The mock press conference is done to show that each agency is working in an integrated fashion and to provide timely and accurate information to the residents of Matagorda County, he said.

The nuclear plant conducts several drills throughout the year.

"We routinely test and drill on all potential emergency scenarios to ensure that we are coordinated and aligned," he added.

Approximately 250 people participated in Wednesday's graded exercise, including the State Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency Management, and Department of State Health Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security The Matagorda County Emergency Operations Center will also participate in the exercise.

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