Point Beach Nuclear Plant photo © James Bushelle | Dreamstime

More than 100 Kewaunee County employees and volunteers took part in an “Ingestion Pathway” emergency response exercise Monday and Tuesday with Point Beach Nuclear Plant. The exercise is being evaluated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Federal regulations require local and state government agencies, in whose jurisdiction a nuclear plant is located, to biennially demonstrate that they can protect the health and safety of people potentially at risk in the 10-mile radius of the plant.

“It is highly unlikely we will ever have to implement the complex procedures in the county’s Emergency Operations Plan for a nuclear plant incident,” said Tracy Nollenberg, emergency management director. “However, practicing the principles we would apply to respond to a nuclear plant accident pays dividends in our overall emergency preparedness for all hazards.”

A portion of this exercise was evaluated by FEMA in June: The reception center was done out of sequence of this week’s exercise. That portion is where local populations, evacuated from the emergency planning zone around the nuclear plant, go to be monitored for any radiological contamination and to obtain any further assistance they may need during their re-location. The reception center for Kewaunee County was the Luxemburg-Casco Intermediate School.

Similar staff operations occurred simultaneously in Manitowoc County by emergency management officials, as well as Madison, where state government response was coordinated.

Officials plan to brief local media about the exercise Friday morning in Manitowoc.