Nuclear Emergency Response Drill

August  26, 2014

      If there's ever a radioactive leak in the Quad Cities, state and local officials want to be prepared. Tomorrow morning, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will hold an emergency response drill at the Cordova nuclear power plant. 

      Agency spokeswoman, Patti Thompson, says Cordova and the five other nuclear plants in Illinois most hold a drill like this every other year. Local and state agencies will practice for the worst case scenario.

      "That's how it happens in real life is that you don't know exactly what went wrong, but then that helps us to determine if we've got the right plans in place to be able to figure out what's going on and what we can do to help protect people."

      She says most of the exercise will take place inside the plant. Afterwards, federal officials will grade everyone's performance.  

      Thompson says Illinois already has safeguards in place, including one of the most advanced remote monitoring systems in the nation. It sends updates on plant operations directly to local and state agencies. 

      "We also have teams that can go out and they can do testing of vegetation and other water and air out in the area to look for possible contamination from an incident at the plant, and we bring all of this to help support the locals in protecting their local citizens."

      About 14,000 people live within ten miles of the Cordova plant in Iowa and Illinois. 

      The emergency response drill will begin tomorrow morning.