The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky

Explosions, plumes just plant training

Staff report

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Government officials advise residents not to be afraid of loud explosions and smoke plumes Thursday near the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant because the sights and sounds will be part of a multifaceted homeland security training exercise.

The exercise will be held outside the plant in conjunction with a tabletop portion at J.R.'s Executive Inn.

Led by the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management, the exercise will involve plant operator USEC Inc., plus local, state and federal emergency-response agencies including the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, the National Guard, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Agencies will cooperate to respond to a simulated terrorist attack directed against the plant.

This is the first in a series of crucial infrastructure exercises developed by Kentucky emergency management officials to assess the capability of local communities and state/federal agencies to respond to terrorist-related security emergencies, according to a Kentucky Homeland Security release.

The goal is to ensure that each agency has appropriate response plans, policies and procedures in place, and to make sure all agencies are collaborating most effectively, the release said.