Nuclear plant drill in Palo helps prepare for all emergencies - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Nuclear plant drill in Palo helps prepare for all emergencies

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PALO (KWWL) - This week, employees at the Duane Arnold Energy Center in Palo went through a drill to make sure they're prepared for an emergency, like a security issue or faulty piece of equipment.

These drills are required every two years. Employees are evaluated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

"We found that the on-site response was appropriate in this case to the scenario that was provided," said Robert Jickling with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

If an emergency ever happened inside, many organizations would have to react from outside -- including the Linn and Benton County Emergency Management Agencies and local governments.

Each time a drill is done, FEMA evaluates around 50 agencies to see how prepared they are.

"Duane Arnold Energy Center has put in a lot of effort and partnered with the state and the counties, and we see a lot of that collaboration really benefit the local community," said Andrew Chancellor, FEMA.

According to the Linn County Emergency Management Agency, these drills helped improve response during the floods of 2008.

"It was proven in 2008 that our preparedness for these type of radio-logical emergency response plans does carry over into other types of emergencies," said Mike Goldberg with the Linn County Emergency Management Agency. "So, because of this, we're a better community."

They say other types of events, like floods or tornadoes, are more likely than a disaster at the plant, but they're ready to respond to any emergency.

FEMA's final report on this week's drill won't be done for a few months, but officials say local agencies have proven they're well prepared during previous drills.
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