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What if something happens at the Nuclear Power Plant?

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 (https://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/emerg-preparedness/about-emerg-preparedness/emerg-classification.html ). 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 Weather/All Hazards Alert radios will be activated as well. You may be asked to do one of five things:

  • Continue to Monitor: You will be told that the public is not at risk, but please continue to monitor local news media outlets
  • Go Inside, Stay Inside: When this order is given, there is a security threat at the nuclear power station. Residents will be told to lock all their doors and windows, go towards the center of the residence and monitor news media.
  • Shelter in Place: If evacuation is considered to be too dangerous or cannot be done in a timely fashion, then residents will be told to close all of their doors and windows, turn off the ventilation to their residence, go towards the center of the residence, and monitor local news media.
  • Evacuation: If there is a possibly risk of radiation exposure, then the public will be asked to evacuate the area. When this occurs residents will be evacuated by zone.  To find your zone, please visit https://www.duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/nuclear-safety/catawba, scroll down to "Emergency Planning Zones", and enter your full home address including city and state. Shelters will be set up for residents to go to. An exclusionary zone will be set up around the power station, where in which residents will only be allowed to leave until the area is deemed safe to return.
  • Take Potassium Iodide (KI):  Potassium iodide, also known as KI, is a nonprescription drug that may prevent the thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine. KI is one protective action that might be recommended during a nuclear emergency. KI is available to Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) residents at no cost through county health departments. It should be taken only at the direction of public health officials. For more information on KI, contact your county health department.

Show All Answers

1. What do I do when I hear an outdoor warning siren?
2. Should I be worried about radiation?
3. Should I be worried about the Nuclear Power Plant?
4. What if something happens at the Nuclear Power Plant?
5. What if I cannot evacuate?
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