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Your Chance to Scrutinize NJ’s Nuclear Response Plans Begins

If a meltdown or radiation leak occurred at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant in Lacey or at the Salem reactors in Salem and Cumberland Counties, would you know what to do, what you’re expected to do and what would be done for you?

Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant (Exelon)

New Jersey environmental officials seek your comments during information and feedback sessions that begin this week.

The first of three meetings will be Tuesday night at Woodland Country Day School in Woodland. The second takes place July 17 at the Salem County Office of Emergency Management in Woodstown. Finally, the Ocean County meeting is scheduled for July 24 in the county Administration Building in Toms River.

Each begins with an informational overview at 6 PM, with hearings starting at 7 PM.

The hearings are required annually by state law, says Larry Ragonese at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. But beyond that, “we think it’s important for people to have a chance to take a look at the emergency response plan, to be able to…talk with officials.”

Among those officials will be members of the DEP Bureau of Nuclear Engineering, New Jersey Department of Health, and State Police Office of Emergency Management.

Salem Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)
Salem Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 (Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

Ragonese says that no related or relevant subject is off-limits. “But the real reason for this,” he adds, “is to let people talk about response time for, say, medical or emergency teams, evacuation plans and routes, alarm systems to warn people.This is designed to help people understand how to respond to any kind of nuclear emergency.”

Copies of the New Jersey Radiological Emergency Response Plan will be provided at each meeting. Copies are also posted New Jersey’s State Police Headquarters in West Trenton; Ocean County Office of Emergency Management, Robert J. Miller Airpark, Berkeley Township; Salem County Emergency Management, Mannington; and Cumberland County Emergency Management, Bridgeton.

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