Information about the Catawba Nuclear Station




How safe are commercial nuclear power plants?
Since the advent of commercial nuclear power there have only been two major incidents world wide. The Three Mile Island incident in 1979 and the Chernobyl incidnet in 1986. Commercial nuclear power plants are one of the most regulated and watched of all the worlds industries.
How can the nuclear station be cooled after a situation like in Japan?
The nuclear station has several systems and back up systems to cool the plant in the event a problem occurs. Back up generators are in place to insure the plant can be controlled in the event of a major problem at the plant.
Can the Nuclear Station blow up?
No. The fuel at the nuclear station is not explosive. Hydrogen caused the explosions in Japan. The Catawba Nuclear Station has safety systems designed to remove/reduce the hydrogen. The nuclear plant does not have material that could “blow up”. The process used is a reaction that gives off heat, which boils water turning it to steam. The steam turns a turbine producing electricity. The radioactive material used in this process is then stored in a pool of water on site under heavy security.
Will the "NUKE PILLS" protect me from radiation?
NO. Potassium Iodide tablets, aka "nuke pills" will NOT protect you from radiation. They only protect the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine.
How will I be notified of an emergency at the nuclear station?
The outdoor warning siren system would be activated followed immediately by activation of the emergency alert system over television and radio stations.
Can the nuclear station withstand an earthquake?
The Catawba Nuclear Station was build to strict seismic standards and designed with earthquake protection.
Are there plans in place in the event of an incident at the nuclear station?
York County has elaborate plans in place to manage an emergency at the nuclear station. The plans are tested and evaluated on a regular basis.
What do I do when I hear an outdoor warning siren?
The local radio stations for York County are: {AM Station WRHI - 1340} {FM Station WRHM - 107.1} {FM Station WRHI - 94.3} During the scheduled quarterly tests, the sirens are activated for one 3-minute cycle. During a real emergency, the sirens will be activated for several 3-minute cycles.
What happens to my children if an incident happens at the Catawba Nuclear Plant during school hours?
All schools have plans in place for protecting the students. When there is no danger to the public offsite then no action is needed. In a situation where it is determined that there is potential for the emergency to effect the public offsite, students could be moved to pre-designated pickup points for their school and eventually moved to shelters.{See School Pickup Point information}
Where do I go if there is an incident at the Catawba Nuclear Plant?
Evacuation is required only in the most severe incidents. There are many situations that could occur at the plant that do not put anyone in danger. Should the public require any action, it would be broadcasted over local radio and television stations. Please follow the instructions given, know the evacuation routes for your area and the location of shelters. {See Catawba Nuclear Emergency Planning Zone Information}