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San Onofre Nuclear Plant Begins 3-Day Disaster Drill

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This is only a test. Repeat. Test. On Tuesday, Southern California Edison operators of the San Onofre nuclear plant will be starting a three-day, "radioactive release" simulation exercise to to "test the ability of the facility and local, state and federal agencies to respond to a radiological emergency," says a spokeswoman for the California Emergency Management Agency, reports the LA Times.

The on site plant drills will be done in secret, says ABC Local, but officials will gather at "a joint information center," to simulate news conferences to practice disseminating crucial information in a disaster situation. Emergency response personnel will also practice their response "as though a major radioactive gas leak has happened at the San Onofre plant," and residents may hear sirens intermittently throughout the multi-day exercise.

Notes the LA Times:

"The simulation was long-scheduled and is required every two years at every commercial nuclear plant in the nation, officials said. But it has garnered more interest due to the Japanese nuclear crisis that followed last month’s earthquake and tsunami. State and federal officials have called for comprehensive reviews of California’s two commercial nuclear power plants in response to the events in Japan."
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A public meeting is scheduled for Friday in San Juan Capistrano to review the initial findings.