Annual testing of nuclear plant emergency siren system Nov. 8

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, emergency sirens will sound briefly around the Palo Verde nuclear plant but there’s no cause for alarm.  Palo Verde Generating Station, in cooperation with local and state agencies, is conducting federal-required testing.  A total of 58 outdoor warning sirens located within the 10-mile emergency planning zone of the nuclear generating station will be tested during the lunch hour, according to a press release.

The annual testing will activate the sirens twice, once at noon and again at 12:30 p.m. to ensure they function properly. Volunteers from the West Valley Amateur Radio Club, the Tri-City Amateur Radio Club, Arizona Amateur Radio Emergency Service and other unaffiliated ham operators will be stationed at each siren and immediately report siren activation to emergency managers.

The Arizona Department of Transportation will activate electronic message signs along Interstate 10 in the West Valley to notify drivers of the test.

Sirens are part of the federal alert and notification system. This annual testing of the siren system is required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In the unlikely event of an emergency at Palo Verde, one of three response agencies (Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office or the Arizona Department of Public Safety) would activate the alerting sirens as a means of directing residents to turn on their radios and televisions. An Emergency Alert System message would then provide the public with emergency information.

The Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management, in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, coordinates and implements offsite response plans for the Palo Verde Generating Station.  Palo Verde Generating Station is operated by Arizona Public Service and is owned by a consortium of seven utilities in the Southwest.

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