Feds evaluate Palo Verde's emergency plans

March 07, 2013

More than 400 city, county, state, tribal and federal agencies took part Wednesday in a test of the country’s largest nuclear power plant’s emergency plans. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Mark Brodie reports on what federal evaluators were looking for at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, west of Phoenix.

MARK BRODIE: The starting scenario was that a fictitious earthquake in California disrupted power at Palo Verde. But, Judy Kioski with the Arizona Division of Emergency Management says there were more simulated issues following. She says around 12 emergency response sites were activated for yesterday’s exercise, to see how Palo Verde’s plans worked.

JUDY KIOSKI: The great thing about a plan is it dictates who needs to do what. We have specific checklists and procedures that we’re supposed to follow. So, this exercise is a way of validating those plans. Are we reaching the decisions that we need to do? Is the critical thinking taking place?

BRODIE: Kioski says approximately 30 FEMA evaluators will take the next couple of months to compare notes on the exercise. She says there were close to 100 criteria the feds were looking at - including how quickly officials decided what to tell the public, how they got that message out and how they dealt with damage to critical infrastructure.

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