HARRISBURG – In the wake of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan, the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, led by Chairman Stephen E. Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware), this week examined the capabilities of Pennsylvania’s nuclear power plants and emergency service providers to respond to a disaster emergency whether natural or man-made.
“After seeing what occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, it is only natural to want to scrutinize our own nuclear power facilities and systems,” said Barrar. “I was extremely impressed by the industry’s training, cooperation and preparedness. The facilities frequently run drills to prepare for all types of scenarios, and they are constantly working with emergency responders in the community.”
The committee heard testimony from the following individuals:
Alex Marion, vice president for nuclear operations with the Nuclear Energy Institute.
Joe Grimes, senior vice president of mid-Atlantic operations with Exelon Nuclear.
James Lash, president and chief nuclear officer of FE Generation.
Tim Rausch, chief nuclear officer with PPL Susquehanna.
Henry Tamanini, chief of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s (PEMA) Technological Hazards Division.
Dave Allard, bureau director with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Bureau of Radiation Protection.
Kerry Lieb, director of the Emergency Environmental Response Program.
Randy Gockley, director of the Lancaster County Emergency Management Agency.
Stuart Nelson of the Lancaster County Radiological Office.
Ashley Morrison of the Lancaster County Emergency Management Agency Radiological Office.
“Pennsylvania’s nuclear facilities are very well equipped to manage an emergency, including a possible off-site power outage,” said Barrar. “Pennsylvania residents should feel confident in the safety of these facilities, the oversight provided by the federal government regarding facility operations and the emergency response capabilities of our first responders. One area I would like to learn more about is what would happen in the event of a large-scale evacuation. I am interested in finding out who would bear the financial responsibility for feeding and housing evacuees. I am going to continue to pursue that information because I believe it is a vital part of our emergency planning and response.”
More information about Barrar and his legislative priorities is available at SteveBarrar.com or Facebook.com/RepBarrar.