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Nuclear safety January 27, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Nuclear Power.

Nuclear power, nuclear meltdowns, in conversations about nuclear power they almost always become intertwined.

Obviously the risk is minimal. With Chernobyl being the only major meltdown accident and Three Mile Island coming extremely close, but, nonetheless, the chance does exist. If it did not then companies which hold nuclear power and plants would not publish pamphlets such as this one.

Tone alert radios

I didn’t realize that Progress Energy had distributed Tone Alert Radios to residents within a five a mile radius of Harris Nuclear Power Plant, near Raleigh, North Carolina:

“Tone Alert Radios

Residences within the five-mile radius of the Harris Plant have been given tone alert radios. You should always keep the radio plugged in and in a place where you can hear the alarm, particularly at night while sleeping.

In severe weather, a signal sent by the National Weather Service activates an alarm on the radios. The National Weather Service also sends a signal to the radios if there is an emergency at the Harris Plant.

When the alarm sounds, you should press the WEATHER bar Maor button on top of the radio to receive brief instructions. If there is an emergency, you should also tune to a radio or TV station for more details.

The pamphlet that you received with your radio explains how it works. Keep this information in a handy place for quick access. If you have any questions about your radio, call the Progress Energy Customer Service Center at 919.508.5400 or1.800.452.2777, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.”

Make sure you keep your radio plugged in and in a place you can hear? Particularly at night? While sleeping?

What is this Atomic Friday?

No, no. Don’t worry. Don’t be alarmed. It’s mostly for weather. Just push the handy WEATHER bar when the alarm sounds, which will never be for a nuclear meltdown, ever.

That’s from the Progress Energy safety pamphlet regarding Harris, which may be the site of a new a nuclear reactor come 2016.

I can just see the Progress Energy PR department writing that one up . . .

We here at Progress Energy care about your safety* when it comes to severe weather events. Especially if you live within five miles of our massive fission reactor. That’s why we have sent you these weather radios, which will also notify you of any mishaps, that are unlikely to occur at our facility.
*We do not actually care about your safety.

Funny thought.

Safety pamphlets

Progress Energy has links to safety information in PDFs for each of their 4 nuclear plants. They are significantly more detailed than similar information from Exelon. Exelon claims all nuclear plants located in Illinois.

Exelon’s safety info is found by linking to any of the individual plants listed on the right side of this page. If you follow it and look down a bit you will see a link, in blue, on the Exelon page for whatever plant you clicked on (let’s say, hypothetically, Byron), the link will say emergency plan, if you click it you will get a PDF like the one you can see by clicking here. Nine of the 11 plants listed on the Exelon page have emergency plans PDFed. They are sketchy and lack detail, beyond that they are all the same save some contact information and a map. The PDFs imply that this is what they send out to people in the U.S. mail or have available at the front desk in the corporate office. Pretty crappy job by Exelon.

Photo: Harris Nuclear Plant near Raleigh, NC.


1. James Aach - January 28, 2006

If you’re not aware of this site, you might want to take a look: http://RadDecision.blogspot.com . It’s an inside look at nuclear power that’s entertaining and free to readers. See homepage comments for reader reviews.

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