Emergency managers graded in Catawba Nuclear Station exercise

Posted November 1, 2012 7:49 pm | Filed under Local News

A midst a natural disaster in the northeast, nuclear regulators and officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency were in York County this week as county emergency management officials conducted a drill Tuesday with a mock earthquake and subsequent disaster at the Catawba Nuclear Station.

Thursday morning, regulators held a public comment period on the drill, with FEMA Technical Hazards Chief Conrad Burnside saying York County handled the incident well.

York County Emergency Management Director Cotton Howell said the drill involved a number of agencies in York, Mecklenburg and Gaston Counties. . York County Emergency Management Director Cotton Howell tells WRHI the exercise simulated 147 different issues that experts weren’t allowed to “fix” at the nuclear plant.

The exercise in York County was graded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Howell says the drill was modeled after some limited experience in global disasters.

Burnside oversaw the drill and says York County passed with flying colors.

The exercise is conducted once every two years and grades the response levels of participating agencies.