April 12th, 2011 – RERP – Marine Corps/NRC/FEMA/SONGS – San Onofre perform detailed REP plume exercise involving

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  • The exercise begins with SONGS Unit 2 Train B Diesel Generator suffering a catastrophic  failure.
  • Within fifteen minutes of this event, SONGS declares an Alert and notifies the jurisdictions within the EPZ.
  • In an unrelated event, the Control Room receives a Unit 2 vibration and loose parts alarm.
  • Subsequently, Unit 2 Reactor Coolant Pump #2 suffers a sheared shaft, resulting in a 380 gallon per minute release of reactor coolant into containment.
  • A chemistry sample taken approximately thirty minutes later indicates the loose parts damage more than one percent to the fuel in the reactor vessel.
  • As a result of the damage to the reactor fuel, SONGS declares a Site Area Emergency.
  • With the reactor coolant leak increasing significantly, and containment pressure levels rising, SONGS declares a General Emergency.
  • A containment purge valve is moved off its seat as a result of increased pressure in the containment, releasing radioactive material to the environment.

1.1 Exercise Details
Exercise Name San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Plume Phase Exercise
Type of Exercise Plume Phase Exercise
Exercise Dates April 12, 2011
Program Department of Homeland Security/FEMA Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program
Scenario Type Radiological Emergency

1.2 Exercise Planning Team Leadership

Sara Kaminske
Assistant Emergency Manager
Orange County Sheriff Department
2644 Santiago Canyon Road
Silverado, CA 92676

Rick Garcia
Emergency Services Coordinator
Southern California Edison
P.O. Box 128
San Clemente, CA 92672

Lynne Olson
California Emergency Management Agency
Senior Emergency Services Coordinator
Nuclear Preparedness Program
3650 Schriever Ave
Mather, CA 95655

KOGO-AM, San Diego Emergency Alert System

San Diego Gas & Electric

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Southern California Edison

Federal Agencies

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Nuclear Regulatory Commission


2.1 Exercise Purpose and Design
FEMA Region IX evaluated the exercise to assess the capabilities of local emergency preparedness organizations in implementing their RERPs and procedures to protect the public
health and safety during a radiological emergency involving SONGS. The purpose of this After Action Report (AAR) is to present the results and findings on the performance of the Offsite
Response Organizations (ORO) during a simulated radiological emergency.

2.2 Exercise Objectives, Capabilities and Activities

The exercise evaluation area criteria, contained in the FEMA Federal Register Notice, “Radiological Emergency Preparedness Exercise Evaluation Methodology,” dated August 25,
2002 represent a functional translation of the planning standards and evaluation criteria of NUREG-0654/FEMA-REP-1, Rev.1, “Criteria for the Preparation and Evaluation of Radiological Emergency Response Plans and Preparedness in Support of Nuclear Power Plants,” November 1980.
The objectives of this exercise are as follows:

Criterion 1.a.1: OROs uses effective procedures to alert, notify, and mobilize emergency personnel and activate facilities in a timely manner. (NUREG-0654: A.4, D.3, 4; E.1, 2; H.4)
Criterion 1.c.1: Key personnel with leadership roles for the ORO provide direction and control to that part of the overall response effort for which they are responsible. (NUREG-0654: A.1.d, A.2.a, b

Criterion 1.d.1: At least two communication systems are available, at least one operates properly, and communication links are established and maintained with appropriate locations.
Communications capabilities are managed in support of emergency operations. (NUREG-0654: F.1, 2)

Criterion 1.e.1: Equipment, maps, displays, dosimetry, potassium iodide (KI), and other supplies are sufficient to support emergency operations. (NUREG-0654: H.7, 10; J.10.a, b, e; J.11; K.3.a)

Criterion 2.a.1: OROs use a decision-making process, considering relevant factors and appropriate coordination, to ensure that an exposure control system, including the use of KI, is in
place for emergency workers including provisions to authorize radiation exposure in excess of administrative limits or protective action guides. (NUREG-0654: J.10.e, f; K.4)

Criterion 2.b.1: Appropriate protective action recommendations are based on available information on plant conditions, field monitoring data, and licensee and ORO dose projections,
as well as knowledge of onsite and offsite environmental conditions. (NUREG-0654: I.8, 10 Supplement 3)

Criterion 2.b.2: A decision-making process involving consideration of appropriate factors and necessary coordination is used to make protective action decisions for the general public
(including the recommendation for the use of KI, if ORO policy). (NUREG-0654: J.9; J.10.f, m)

Criterion 2.c.1: Protective action decisions are made, as appropriate, for special population groups. (NUREG-0654: J.9; J.10.d, e)

Criterion 3.a.1: The OROs issue appropriate dosimetry and procedures, and manage radiological exposure to emergency workers in accordance with the plans and procedures. Emergency
workers periodically and at the end of each mission read their dosimeters and record the readings on the appropriate exposure record or chart. (NUREG-0654: K.3.a, b)

Criterion 3.b.1: KI and appropriate instructions are available should a decision to recommend use of KI be made. Appropriate record-keeping of the administration of KI for emergency
workers and institutionalized individuals is maintained. (NUREG-0654: J.10.e)

Criterion 3.c.1: Protective action decisions are implemented for special populations other than schools within areas subject to protective action. (NUREG-0654: J.10.c, d, g)

Criterion 3.c.2: OROs/School officials implements protective actions for schools. (NUREG-0654: J.10.c, d, g)

Criterion 3.d.1: Appropriate traffic and access control is established. Accurate instructions are provided to traffic and access control personnel. (NUREG-0654: J.10.g, j)

Criterion 3.d.2: Impediments to evacuation are identified and resolved. (NUREG-0654: J.10.k)

Criterion 4.a.1: The field teams are equipped to perform field measurements of direct radiation exposure (cloud and ground shine) and to sample airborne radioiodine and particulates.
(NUREG-0654: H.10; I.7, 8, 9).

Criterion 4.a.2: Field monitoring teams are managed to obtain sufficient information to help characterize the release and to control radiation exposure. (NUREG-0654: I.8, 11; J.10.a; H.12).

Criterion 4.a.3: Ambient radiation measurements are made and recorded at appropriate locations, and radioiodine and particulate samples are collected. Teams will move to an
appropriate low background location to determine whether any significant (as specified in the plan and/or procedures) amount of radioactivity has been collected on the sampling media.
(NUREG-0654: I.9)

Criterion 5.a.1: Activities associated with primary alerting and notification of the public are completed in a timely manner following the initial decision by authorized offsite emergency
officials to notify the public of an emergency situation. The initial instructional message to the public must include as a minimum the elements required by current FEMA REP guidance. (10CFR Part 50, Appendix E.IV.D & NUREG-0654: E.5, 6, 7)

Criterion 5.a.3: Activities associated with FEMA approved exception areas (where applicable) are completed within 45 minutes following the initial decision by authorized offsite emergency officials to notify the public of an emergency situation. Backup alert and notification of the public is completed within 45 minutes following the detection by the ORO of a failure of the primary alert and notification system. (NUREG-0654: E.6, Appendix 3.B.2.c)

Criterion 5.b.1: OROs provide accurate emergency information and instructions to the public and the news media in a timely manner. (NUREG-0654: E.5, 7; G.3.a; G.4.c)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Preparedness Division – Technological Hazards Branch in Region IX evaluated a biennial Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) plume phase exercise for the emergency planning zone (EPZ) around the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) on April 12, 2011. Out-of-sequence demonstrations were conducted on October 21, 2010, April 7, 8, and 13, 2011. The previous biennial plume phase exercise at this site was conducted on September 23, 2009.

The purpose of the exercise was to assess the level of state and local preparedness in response to a simulated radiological emergency at SONGS. This exercise was held in accordance with FEMA’s policies and guidance concerning the exercise of state and local Radiological Emergency Response Plans (RERP) and procedures.
FEMA wishes to acknowledge the efforts of the many individuals who participated in this exercise.

Protecting the public health and safety is the full-time job of some of the exercise participants and additional assigned responsibility for others. Still others have willingly sought this responsibility by volunteering to provide vital emergency services to their communities.

Cooperation and teamwork of all the participants were evident during this exercise.

This report contains the evaluation of the exercise. The exercise participants except where noted in this report, demonstrated knowledge of their emergency response plans and procedures and adequately demonstrated the ability to execute those plans. No Deficiencies and one Area Requiring Corrective Action (ARCA) were identified during the course of the exercise. One evaluation area criteria scheduled to be demonstrated during this exercise could not be evaluated and will be demonstrated before the next biennial exercise. The corrective action plan for the ARCA will be documented in the 2011 SONGS Plume Phase Exercise Improvement Plan in Appendix A.

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