Taunton, Other Communities Prepare For Plymouth Nuke Drill

Amateurs at Taunton High School Reception Center DrillAmateurs will play a key role in upcoming Plymouth Nuclear Power Plant Federal Emergency Management Agency-graded exercises for the Reception Center and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Taunton in April. In preparation for this exercise, there will be several practice drills run in February and March, according to Bruce Hayden, NI1X.

“You may hear ‘THIS IS A DRILL’ on the Taunton, Norwell and other area two-meter repeaters,” he writes.

“One part of the evacuation plan requires that there will be backup amateur radio communication between the EOCs in the host communities and the designated reception centers, transportation staging areas and host schools,” Hayden added.

Over twenty Whitman Amateur Radio Club members have registered as volunteers to assist at the local EOCs in Taunton, Bridgewater, Whitman, Carver, Pembroke, Plymouth, Brockton and Weymouth.

If a serious emergency occurred at the Plymouth nuclear power plant, those living within a 10-mile radius of the plant would be instructed to listen to radio advisories. In addition, state officials would start transporting students to host schools in Taunton, Bridgewater and Braintree, and reception centers in each of the three host communities would be made operational. The plans also call for Taunton Emergency Management Agency RACES Operators to staff the Emergency Operations Center, the reception center and the transportation staging area.

John Viveiros, a staff trainer for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency reminds amateurs that it is vital to have plans in place to help work around all the unknown events “like a vehicle accident that blocks a main highway, or if equipment decides to fail at the wrong time.”

According to Viveiros, “As we improvise and work around these unexpected problems, it will probably take us a little longer to get the job done.”

Photo: Taunton High School Reception Center Drill: Rudy Burer, KB1LXI, Assistant Director, TEMA; Bruce Hayden NI1X; Don Burke KB1LXH

–Thanks, Whitman ARC Spectrum, February, 2008

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