North Anna Power Station Early Warning Siren will undergo another Test on September 1

August 25, 2016  //  

RICHMOND – The North Anna Power Station (NAPS) Early Warning Siren (EWS) test on August 17 revealed an anomaly in the siren duration and the test will be done again at 11:10 a.m. on September 1.

The quarterly tests are required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and they occur on the third Wednesday of February, May, August and November to ensure the public will be properly notified in the unlikely event of a radiological emergency. Sixty-eight sirens are sounded and heard within a 10 mile radius of the power station in Louisa County. If the primary siren system failed during an actual emergency, there is also a back-up siren panel system that can be activated.

“The August 17 siren test was not a failure; all sirens sounded as expected,” said Dr. Jeffrey Stern, Virginia’s state coordinator of emergency management. “However, Dominion Virginia Power, the owner of the power station, discovered an anomaly in the siren duration when the sirens were polled. Dominion Virginia Power opted not to take credit for the test when it detected a technical issue with the server.”

The purpose of the test is to ensure that the siren system works well and also to identify problems that might prevent the system from working properly. By conducting the test on August 17, North Anna officials identified the anomaly, corrected it quickly and notified the NRC.

The September 1 test will be slightly different from the usual test in that it will involve two separate but back-to-back soundings—one for the backup system and one for the primary system. During the standard quarterly test, a steady three-minute tone is sounded by 68 sirens in Caroline, Hanover, Louisa, Orange and Spotsylvania counties.

If an actual emergency occurred at North Anna Power Station, residents would hear four separate three-minute activations, each separated by a one-minute silent interval. Total elapsed time for actual emergency notification is 15 minutes.  When sirens sound, people should listen for instructions via a local radio or TV station that is broadcasting emergency information.

###

Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund