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Emergency Planning: Susquehanna Steam Electric Station

This information is for an emergency only at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant. Contact your local emergency management agency or 911 center regarding other types of emergencies.

Message from Columbia and Luzerne Counties

This page contains information and instructions about what you may be asked to do if a serious emergency occurs at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Salem Township, Luzerne County. Everyone in your home should be aware of this important information.

The protective actions described on this page are part of state, county and municipal emergency plans, which provide a coordinated public response to an emergency. If you are asked to take protective action, please act quickly and calmly.

For All or Part of the Following Municipalities:

COLUMBIA COUNTY

  • Beaver Township
  • Berwick Borough
  • Briar Creek Borough
  • Briar Creek Township
  • Fishing Creek Township
  • Mifflin Township
  • North Centre Township
  • South Centre Township

LUZERNE COUNTY

  • Black Creek Township
  • Butler Township
  • Conyngham Borough
  • Conyngham Township
  • Dorrance Township
  • Hollenback Township
  • Hunlock Township
  • Huntington Township
  • Nanticoke City
  • Nescopeck Borough
  • Nescopeck Township
  • New Columbus Borough
  • Newport Township
  • Nuangola Borough
  • Salem Township
  • Shickshinny Borough
  • Slocum Township
  • Sugarloaf Township
  • Union Township

Sections

What You Should Do If the Sirens Sound

Please remember that the counties may sound the sirens to notify you of any emergency, including floods, chemical spills and severe storms. When you hear a siren, it does not necessarily mean a nuclear emergency.

NOTIFICATION: In an emergency requiring general public notification, county officials will sound sirens around the Susquehanna plant in a steady tone – NOT a warbling or wailing tone – for three to five minutes. The system can be used to notify the public of ANY EMERGENCY. The siren is not a signal to evacuate. It informs you to tune to an emergency alert system station (see next section) for official information and instructions.

YOUR RESPONSE: Tune your radio or TV to a local Emergency Alert System station. Authorities will provide information about the emergency. They will direct you to take protective actions, if any are needed. DO NOT use the telephone to try to get emergency information. You may tie up phone lines urgently needed for emergency operations designed to protect you.

SIREN PROBLEMS: Occasionally, a siren may malfunction. If you hear a siren, but no emergency information is provided by the Emergency Alert System, call 570-831-6286 and 570-831-6215. The siren will be repaired as quickly as possible. DO NOT call county rumor control or 911.

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Local Emergency Alert System (EAS)

Luzerne County

Columbia County

AM

FM

Television

FM

WYCK 1340

WRGN 88.1

WGGY 101.3

WNEP 16

WRGN 88.1

WMGK 102.9

WICK 1400

WMGS 92.9

WMGK 102.9

WBRE 28

WQSU 88.9

WHLM 103.5

WCDL 1440

WSBG 93.5

WHLM 103.5

WOLF 56

WGRC 91.3

WILQ 105.1

WTRW 94.3

WWRR 104.9

WQPX 64

WQKX 94.1

WFYY 106.5

WPEL 96.5

WBZR 105.9

WPGM 96.7

WEMR 98.7

WFYY 106.5

WGGY 101.3

WUSR 99.5

WEZX 106.9

WKSB 102.7

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Emergency Information

Any emergency at the Susquehanna plant would fall into one of the following four categories, established by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

A "General Emergency" would be the most serious.

Notification of Unusual Event

Events are in process or have occurred that indicate a potential degradation of the level of safety of the plant or indicate a security threat to facility protection has been initiated. No releases of radioactive material requiring offsite response or monitoring are expected unless further degradation of safety systems occurs.

Alert

Events are in process or have occurred that involve an actual or potential substantial degradation of the level of safety of the plant or a security event that involves probable life-threatening risk to site personnel or damage to site equipment because of hostile action. Any releases are expected to be limited to small fractions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Protective Action Guideline exposure levels.

Site Area Emergency

Events are in process or have occurred that involve

  1. actual or likely major failures of plant functions needed to protect the public or

  2. hostile action that results in intentional damage or malicious acts

    1. toward site personnel or equipment that could lead to the likely failure of or,

    2. that prevent effective access to equipment needed to protect the public.

Any radioactive releases are not expected to result in exposure levels that exceed EPA Protective Action Guideline exposure levels beyond the site boundary.

General Emergency

Events are in process or have occurred that involve actual or imminent substantial core degradation or melting with potential for loss of containment integrity or hostile action that results in an actual loss of physical control of the facility. Radioactive releases can be reasonably expected to exceed EPA Protective Action Guideline exposure levels offsite for more than the immediate site area.

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If You Are Told to Take Shelter

Sheltering, or remaining indoors, is one protective action that might be recommended or directed in a nuclear emergency. Should you be directed to take shelter, do the following:

  • Close all outside doors and windows. This will help keep out any radioactive materials that may be outdoors.

  • Turn off air intakes such as fans and air conditioners.

  • Keep pets inside and, to the extent possible, shelter farm animals.

  • Keep your radio or TV turned on and listen for further emergency instructions.

  • Don’t use the telephone or cell phone. Leave lines open for emergency communications.

  • People traveling within the area in motor vehicles should roll up the windows and close the air vents and/or put the vehicle heating/air conditioning in the recirculation mode.

  • If you are not at home, take the best available shelter (public buildings, restaurants, churches, town halls, etc.).

  • Any other precautions deemed necessary while taking shelter will be broadcast by county officials at the time. Stay tuned to your local Emergency Alert System.

Stay indoors until you receive official notice that it is safe to go outside. Special arrangements will be made by state, county and municipal officials to take care of schoolchildren and hospital patients.

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If You Are Told to Evacuate

You should plan to spend a minimum of three days away from home. Bring only essential items and avoid excess baggage. Take only what you need and then in small quantities.

What to Take with You

Suggested items to take include:

  • Clothing appropriate for the season

  • Sleeping bags or blankets

  • Prescription medicine

  • Personal care items

  • Baby supplies

  • Special medical equipment

When It’s Time to Leave

When instructed to leave your home, secure it as you would if you were going on a three-day trip.

When driving to your reception center, close your car windows and vents and/or put the vehicle heating/ air conditioning in the recirculation mode. Use the evacuation route listed for the borough or township where you live. You will register at a reception center and, if necessary, be directed to a mass care center for food and lodging. At the reception center or mass care center, technicians may check you and your car for possible radioactive contamination.

If You Need Transportation

If you are instructed to evacuate and you do not have transportation, attempt to obtain a ride with neighbors, a friend or a relative who lives nearby.

If this is not possible, transportation can be arranged by calling your municipal Emergency Management Agency. (Luzerne County: 570-820-4400; Columbia County: 570-389-5730 or 570-784-6300 TDD)

Hospitals, Nursing Homes

Emergency management officials have plans to evacuate patients in hospitals and nursing homes if that becomes necessary.

Family Pets

For sanitation reasons, family pets will not be allowed in care centers. Pets may stay in your car, and outside areas will be available for pet feeding and exercise.

Plan to bring pet food and other pet supplies with you. Guide dogs for the handicapped are allowed inside mass care centers.

Farmers

Farmers should keep a supply of covered feed and source of water, and decide beforehand where they would shelter animals in an emergency. Farmers will be allowed back into evacuated areas, supervised by county agricultural agents, for livestock care. Farmers can get information by calling 570-784-6660 in Columbia County, 570-820-4455 in Luzerne County or their U.S. Dept. of Agriculture representative.

Potassium Iodide (KI)

During an evacuation, state officials may recommend that you take KI as an additional protective action. State and local officials will announce when the public should take KI in Emergency Alert System messages.

KI is a nonprescription medication that blocks the uptake of radioactive iodine by the thyroid gland. KI does not protect a person or the thyroid from direct exposure to radiation. Taking KI only saturates the thyroid with nonradioactive iodide.

For most individuals, taking KI is safe; however, adverse reactions are possible in people with existing thyroid conditions and those with an allergy to iodine. Consult your physician if you have concerns about the safety of KI for your child or yourself.

Follow directions for storage and use that were included with the product. Residents living within the 10-mile radius who have not already done so may obtain more information about KI or obtain KI by contacting the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH or www.dsf.health.state.pa.us.

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People With Special Needs

Local emergency plans have special provisions for people with special needs, including hearing impaired and those requiring medical transport. Special-needs residents in Columbia County may register online at http://ema.columbiapa.org or call 570-389-5726. In Luzerne County, call 570-820-4400; or in either county, contact your local municipality listed below.

If it is necessary to evacuate an area, you will be informed by an announcement on your Emergency Alert System broadcast station. EAS broadcast stations are listed above. The message will include any special instructions that might be called for by the particular situation.

Special arrangements will be made to take care of the sick and people with special needs.

If you are advised or directed to evacuate, follow instructions promptly and carefully. See the “Evacuation Routes” section, which describes, by municipality, where you should go for temporary accommodations and the highways to use.

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School Information

If your children attend school within an evacuation area, your natural inclination might be to go there. PLEASE DON’T — it could cause confusion as well as traffic congestion. School children will be transported to host schools located near the major evacuation routes leading to the reception centers. The most effective way of meeting your children is to drive to the host school listed below. Bring your identification with you to the host school.

If your children attend school outside the evacuation area, they will not be sent home. They will be cared for at their school or a designated host school until they are picked up by a parent or guardian.

Student Pickup Points

STUDENTS FROM

HOST SCHOOL

Benton Area School District1

Students remain at school

Berwick Area School District

Berwick Senior High

Danville Senior High

Berwick Middle School

Danville Middle School

Orange Street Elementary

Danville Primary School

Nescopeck Elementary

Danville Primary School

14th Street Elementary

Danville Primary School

Salem Elementary

Liberty Valley Elementary

St. Joseph’s Holy Family

Liberty Valley Elementary

Heritage Christian

Danville Primary School

Columbia Day Care

Liberty Valley Elementary

New Story

Liberty Valley Elementary

Bloomsburg Area School District

Bloomsburg High School1

Students remain at school

Beaver-Main Elementary2

Students remain at school

Bloomsburg Middle School1

Students remain at school

Central Columbia School District5

Students remain at school

Columbia/Montour Vo-Tech4

Students remain at school

Crestwood Area School District

Crestwood High School1

Students remain at school

Rice Elementary1,3

Students remain at school

Hazleton Area School District

Drums Elementary

Freeland Elem/Middle School

Valley Elementary

McAdoo-Kelayres School

Hazleton High School1

Students remain at school

Hazleton Career School1

Students remain at school

Nanticoke Area School District

Hanover Area Senior High

Northwest Area School District

Dallas Middle School

West Side Vo-Tech1

Students remain at school

Wilkes-Barre Vo-Tech1

Students remain at school

  1. For students who live inside, but whose school is located outside, the Emergency Planning Zone.

  2. Students remaining more than one hour after the evacuation order will be taken to Bloomsburg High School.

  3. After 3:30 p.m. students will be transported to Crestwood High School.

  4. Students who reside inside the Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) and whose home school is inside the EPZ will be retained at CMVT until buses become available to transport to the Danville High School. Students who reside inside the EPZ and whose home school is outside the EPZ will be transported back to their home school.

  5. For students who live inside, but whose school is located outside, the Emergency Planning Zone. These students will be picked up at the Elementary School Gymnasium.

NOTE: Consult private or parochial primary and secondary schools, pre-schools and day care programs for their own emergency plans.

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Evacuation Routes to Reception Centers

Phone numbers below are for the municipality's emergency operation centers that coordinate local evacuation efforts

COLUMBIA COUNTY

Beaver Township (570-784-4852)

Take local routes to State Route 339. Go south on State Route 339. Go west on State Route 54, turn left onto South “D” Street, go 3 blocks and turn right onto West Mahanoy Street and proceed west to Mahanoy Area Jr/Sr. High School, 1 Golden Bear Drive, Mahanoy City, Pa.

Berwick Borough (570-752-2723)

Take U.S. Route 11 south to Interstate 80 or State Route 93 north to State Route 487, south on State Route 487 to Interstate 80, west on Interstate 80 to Exit 212B to Interstate 180, west on Interstate 180 (220 South) to Lycoming Mall, 300 Lycoming Mall Circle, Muncy, Pa.

Briar Creek Borough (570-752-6020)

Take U.S. Route 11 south to Interstate 80, west on Interstate 80 to Exit 212B to Interstate 180, west on Interstate 180 (220 South) to Lycoming Mall, 300 Lycoming Mall Circle, Muncy, Pa.

Briar Creek Township (570-759-5390)

Take Interstate 80 West to Exit 224B (Danville) to State Route 54 East to Route 11 South. Route 11 South to Northumberland to State Route 147 through Northumberland to Sunbury. Route 147 becomes Front Street. Turn left onto Chestnut Street and right onto Forth Street to Walnut Street to Shikellamy High School, 4 Hanover Street, Sunbury, Pa.

Fishing Creek Township* (570-683-6033)

Take local routes west to State Route 254. Go west on State Route 254 to State Route 42 in Millville. Take State Route 42 north to State Route 442. Take State Route 442 west to Interstate 180. Go west on Interstate 180 (220 South) to Lycoming Mall, 300 Lycoming Mall Circle, Muncy, Pa.

Mifflin Township* (570-752-4651)

Take local routes to the Mifflinville entrance of Interstate 80. Go west on Interstate 80 to Exit 212A (Milton). South on Route 147 to Route 45. West on Route 45 to Montandon Elementary School, 2733 State Rte. 45, Montandon, Pa.

North Centre Township* (570-759-2733)

Take Interstate 80 West to Exit 224B (Danville) to State Route 54 East to Route 11 South. Route 11 South to Northumberland to State Route147 through Northumberland to Sunbury. Route 147 becomes Front Street. Turn left onto Chestnut Street and right onto Forth Street to Walnut Street to Shikellamy High School, 4 Hanover Street, Sunbury, Pa.

South Centre Township* (570-784-7718)

Take local routes to Interstate 80, west on Interstate 80 to Exit 212A (Milton). South on Route 147 to Route 45. West on Route 45 to Montandon Elementary School, 2733 State Rte. 45, Montandon, Pa.

* Municipalities with an asterisk are partially located in the potential evacuation area. See the map included with this information.

LUZERNE COUNTY

Black Creek Township (570-384-3518)

Take local routes to State Route 924, south on State Route 924 to State Route 339. Go south on State Route 339. Go west on State Route 54, turn left onto South “D” Street, go 3 blocks and turn right onto West Mahanoy Street and proceed west to Mahanoy Area Jr/Sr. High School, 1 Golden Bear Drive, Mahanoy City, Pa.

Butler Township (570-788-1886)

Take local routes to Interstate 81, south on Interstate 81 to Exit 131 B. Go west on State Route 54, turn left onto South “D” Street, go 3 blocks and turn right onto West Mahanoy Street and proceed west to Mahanoy Area Jr/Sr. High School, 1 Golden Bear Drive, Mahanoy City, Pa.

Conyngham Borough (570-788-1886)

Take local routes to State Route 93, south on State Route 93 to Interstate 81, south on Interstate 81 to Exit 131 B. Go west on State Route 54, turn left onto South “D” Street, go 3 blocks and turn right onto West Mahanoy Street and proceed west to Mahanoy Area Jr/Sr. High School, 1 Golden Bear Drive, Mahanoy City, Pa.

Conyngham Township (570-542-2411)

Take local routes or South Cross Valley Expressway east to Interstate 81, north on Interstate 81 to Exit 188 to Route 347, north on Route 347 to Big Lots Shopping Center, 1010 O'Neill Highway, Dunmore, Pa.

Dorrance Township (570-868-6394)

Take local routes east to Interstate 81, north on Interstate 81 to Exit 188 to Route 347, north on Route 347 to Big Lots Shopping Center, 1010 O'Neill Highway, Dunmore, Pa.

Hollenback Township (570-379-2535)

Take local routes to State Route 93, south on State Route 93 to Interstate 80, west on Interstate 80 to Exit 212A (Milton). South on Route 147 to Route 45. West on Route 45 to Montandon Elementary School, 2733 State Rte. 45, Montandon, Pa.

Hunlock Township* (570-256-7410)

Take local routes to State Route 118, east on State Route 118 to State Route 29, north on State Route 29 to U.S. Route 6, west on U.S. Route 6 to Tunkhannock High School, 135 Tioga St., Tunkhannock, Pa.

Huntington Township (570-864-3035)

Take local routes to State Route 118, east on State Route 118 to State Route 29, north on State Route 29 to U.S. Route 6, west on U.S. Route 6 to Tunkhannock High School, 135 Tioga St., Tunkhannock, Pa.

Nanticoke City (570-735-2200)

Take local routes to South Cross Valley Expressway (State Route 29), south on the Expressway to Interstate 81, north on Interstate 81 to Exit 188 to State Route 347, north on Route 347 to Big Lots Shopping Center, 1010 O'Neill Highway, Dunmore, Pa.

Nescopeck Borough (570-752-5461)

Take State Route 339 south to Interstate 80, west on Interstate 80 to Exit 212A (Milton). South on Route 147 to Route 45. West on Route 45 to Montandon Elementary School, 2733 State Rte. 45, Montandon, Pa.

Nescopeck Township (570-379-2769)

Take local routes to Interstate 80 west to Exit 212A (Milton). South on Route 147 to Route 45. West on Route 45 to Montandon Elementary School, 2733 State Rte. 45, Montandon, Pa.

New Columbus Borough (570-864-3035)

Take local routes to State Route 118, east on State Route 118 to State Route 29, north on State Route 29 to U.S. Route 6, west on U.S. Route 6 to Tunkhannock High School, 135 Tioga St., Tunkhannock, Pa.

Newport Township (570-735-2000)

Take local routes East to South Cross Valley Expressway to Interstate 81, north on Interstate 81 to Exit 188 to Route 347, north on Route 347 to Big Lots Shopping Center, 1010 O'Neill Highway, Dunmore, Pa.

Nuangola Borough (570-868-5808)

Take local routes to Church Road east to Interstate 81, north to Exit 188 to Route 347, north on Route 347 to Big Lots Shopping Center, 1010 O'Neill Highway, Dunmore, Pa.

Salem Township (570-752-5377)

Take local routes west or U.S. Route 11 south to Interstate 80, west on Interstate 80 to Exit 212A (Milton). South on Route 147 to Route 45. West on Route 45 to Montandon Elementary School, 2733 State Rte. 45, Montandon, Pa.

Shickshinny Borough (570-542-2178)

Take local routes to State Route 118, east on State Route 118 to State Route 29, north on State Route 29 to U.S. Route 6, west on U.S. Route 6 to Tunkhannock High School, 135 Tiger St., Tunkhannock, Pa.

Slocum Township (570-868-6255)

Take local routes to Interstate 81 north to Exit 188 to Route 347, north on Route 347 to Big Lots Shopping Center, 1010 O'Neill Highway, Dunmore, Pa.

Sugarloaf Township (570-788-2249)

Take local routes to State Route 93, south on State Route 93 to Interstate 81, south on Interstate 81 to Exit 131 B. Go west on State Route 54, turn left onto South “D” Street, go 3 blocks and turn right onto West Mahanoy Street and proceed west to Mahanoy Area Jr/Sr. High School, 1 Golden Bear Drive, Mahanoy City, Pa.

Union Township (570-256-7600)

Take local routes to State Route 118, east on State Route 118 to State Route 29, north on State Route 29 to U.S. Route 6, west on U.S. Route 6 to Tunkhannock High School, 135 Tiger St., Tunkhannock, Pa.

* Municipalities with an asterisk are partially located in the potential evacuation area. See the map included with this information.

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Evacuation Plan Map

(click map to enlarge)

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Radiation

Radiation is energy. It includes such energy forms as heat, light, radio waves and radioactive rays and particles. Radiation comes from cosmic sources and from the natural elements that make up our planet. It is in the building materials of our homes; it is even in our bodies. These natural forms of radiation are part of what we call “background” radiation.

There is also man-made radiation, produced by sources such as medical and dental procedures and X-rays, television sets, microwave ovens and electric power plants.

The three main types of radiation are alpha, beta and gamma. Alpha particles are the least penetrating and can be stopped by a sheet of paper. Beta particles can be shielded by a thin sheet of metal. Gamma radiation is the most penetrating form of radiation. It can be blocked, however, by about three feet of concrete or a denser material such as lead.

Radiation’s effect on the human body is measured in units called millirems.

The average background radiation in the area around the Susquehanna plant is about 300 millirems each year. The nuclear plant adds less than one-tenth of a millirem annually.

Following the directions provided by Emergency Personnel during an emergency will limit your exposure to radiation.

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