The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky
Tuesday, July 15, 2003

USEC slates mock nuclear disaster today


There will be firetrucks, ambulances, police and other emergency workers rushing to the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant this morning for a mock nuclear disaster.

It is part of the plant's semiannual test of USEC's emergency plan that is required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Details of the emergency won't be released in advance so that officials provide a spontaneous response to the situation, according to NRC spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng.

USEC spokeswoman Elizabeth Stuckle said part of the emergency will include injured workers who are contaminated with nuclear material. "Local hospitals will not only have to treat the victims, but deal with the fact they are contaminated," Stuckle said.

The simulated emergency will begin about 8 a.m. and should be completed by noon.

Mitlyng said the evaluation of the exercise will include not only USEC and local officials, but NRC inspectors assigned to the plant and the U.S. Department of Energy. "The goal of the exercise is to make sure everyone involved at the facility can respond according to plan," Mitlyng said.