Community-Based Response Organization Training at the Fort St. Vrain Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation


F. J. Borst


The Fort St. Vrain Nuclear Generating Station, the only commercial high-temperature, gas-cooled reactor to be built in the United States, was permanently shut down on 18 August 1989. The spent fuel from the reactor was placed in a nearby independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) in 1992. In accordance with Nuclear Regulatory Commission license requirements, an emergency response plan (ERP) was developed for the ISFSI. The ERP contains a list of the community-based response organizations that would be of primary assistance during an emergency. Letters of agreement are maintained with these community-based response organizations, which include fire/rescue, paramedic/ambulance, local law enforcement, hospital, and hazmat. The ERP also contains provisions for periodic drills and biennial exercises. Community-based response organizations are invited to participate in the exercises. An ERP exercise was held in April 2002. The scenario included transport of a "contaminated" patient to the hospital. During the exercise, it was discovered the paramedic personnel would not transport the victim, contrary to the Letter of agreement provisions. Subsequent discussions with the hospital determined a contaminated patient would not be allowed in the emergency room, again contrary to the letter of agreement provisions. As an added bonus, NRC inspectors were observing the exercise! The first step in our response was to bring representatives of the community-based response organizations together for an integrated discussion about roles, responsibilities, and expectations. This included a review of the letters of agreement. All agreed periodic meetings of the stakeholders would be a good idea, and a quarterly frequency was established. The quarterly meetings identified the need for community-based response organization training. To date, HPS-developed training and DOE-sponsored TEPP/MERRTT training has been provided. Also, tabletop and walk-through drills and another exercise have been held.


This abstract was presented at the 38th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Materials Control and Security: Risk Assessment, Handling, and Detection", Emergency Response Planning and Programs – Part I Session, 2/13/2005 - 2/16/2005, held in New Orleans, LA.

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