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Sept. 20, 2021 - Kewaunee County Demonstrates Ability to Handle Nuclear Plant Incidents in FEMA Evaluated Emergency Response Exercise

Jennifer Gonzalez
Public Information Officer, Kewaunee County
Office: (920) 388-0567
Email: gonzalez.jennifer@kewauneeco.org
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
September 20, 2021
 
Kewaunee County Demonstrates Ability to Handle Nuclear Plant Incidents in FEMA Evaluated Emergency Response Exercise
 
LUXEMBURG, WI – Kewaunee County was successful in passing its portion of the biennial Plume Pathway Emergency Response Exercise, meeting evaluated criteria of how to handle a potential incident at Point Beach Nuclear Plant (PBNP) in Two Rivers.
 
On September 14, 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) evaluated Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County and the State of Wisconsin in a full-scale exercise to test emergency response plans, and on September 17, 2021 gave each passing marks. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) evaluated PBNP and passed them as well.
 
During the exercise, agents were stationed at Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) in Luxemburg, Manitowoc and Madison as well as the Joint Information Center (JIC) in Green Bay to grade participants. FEMA & NRC officials monitored coordination between the different EOCs, the JIC, and PBNP, and evaluated everyone on tasks that included the ability to handle an evolving situation at PBNP, internal communication as well as external communication to the public through the media, how well each group protected the health and safety of the public potentially at risk in the 10-mile radius of PBNP, evacuation protocols, traffic impediments that could impact evacuation routes, and response to rumor control.
 
According to FEMA’s preliminary results for Kewaunee County, the County performed well during the drill and no planning issues were detected. The agency also recognized the strong leadership at the Kewaunee County EOC from Kewaunee County Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg and the extraordinary level of preparation.
 
“The biennial Plume Pathway Emergency Response Exercise is no small task to organize. Kewaunee County itself has dozens of participating players, and it’s the actions of each and every one of them that helps us receive our passing marks,” says Nollenberg. “It’s important to be continuously practicing emergency response as a large group as every time we get together, we find new ways to improve and adapt to different scenarios.”
 
For Kewaunee County, this exercise included a FEMA evaluation conducted last month regarding procedures at the County’s reception center, which would be located at Luxemburg Casco Intermediate School in case of an emergency. The reception center is where local residents would go to be monitored for any radiological contamination and to obtain any further assistance that they may need if evacuated. Kewaunee County also passed this portion of the exercise.
 
The finalized report from FEMA is expected to be made available in 90 days.
 
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