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Catawba Nuclear Power Station has a multitude of safety measures in place that drastically decrease the chances of an incident occurring. If an incident were to occur, CNS and York County Emergency Management would work closely together to minimize the impact to the community. Due to all of the safety measures in place, the public would be aware of what to do to limit exposure long before exposure would be of concern.
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The siren activation warns residents there is an emergency situation in the county. Residents should immediately tune to local television and radio for further instruction. Emergency messages will be broadcast with local media and all social media platforms. Remember that the sirens are also tested quarterly.
We are surrounded by radiation all the time. Radiation is released from the ground, as well, cosmic (or space) radiation is constantly hitting Earth. Humans are exposed to radiation all of the time. We have even found medical uses for radiation; X-rays use radiation to see bone structure and other forms of radiation may be used to treat certain disease states.
Radiation becomes harmful to humans when it is in absorbed in high levels and not controlled. Radiation in the medical field is highly controlled and medical professionals put a great amount of effort in limiting the amount of radiation their patients are exposed to during procedures. The effects of radiation on the human body vary drastically depending on the type of radiation they are exposed to and the amount of radiation. The parts of the body that are most effected by high levels of radiation are the organs that consistently reproduce cells. These organs may be blood forming organs, intestinal tract, and an embryo or fetus developing in its mother.
If something happens at the power station, York County Emergency Management will be notified immediately. What actions that need to be taken will be dependent on the Emergency Classification Level that CNS declares (an explanation of each level can be found here <insert hyperlink to ECL page>). In the event that a public response is needed, the outdoor warning sirens will be set off. The sirens are tested on a quarterly basis. In the event the sirens are activated outside of routine testing, the public is encouraged to seek further information through local news media outlets. If you are in your car, tune to the local radio station; if you are at home, turn the television to a local channel. NOAA all weather alert radios will be activated as well. You may be asked to do one of five things:
If you are unable to evacuate due to certain circumstances (lack of transportation, physically incapable, or you require further assistance) then you are encouraged to fill out the “Request for Special Assistance” form in the back of the CNS Brochure prior to an incident occurring (if you did not receive the brochure contact the York County Office of Emergency Management).