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Clinton Nuclear Plant to Test Emergency Response Plan

Exelon Corporation is testing its emergency response plan this week in DeWitt County.

On Wednesday, county and state government officials are testing the Clinton Nuclear Power Station to make sure proper notification and actions take place under certain scenarios.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson says there are four levels of emergency declarations at nuclear power plants, and crews will progress through each of them in these exercises. But she says personnel won't know about the setup ahead of time.

"We never know exactly what the scenario will be, we just know that there will be some type of events simulated that we all need to react to," said Thompson. "Then we are judged by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as to how we demonstrate our ability to respond under those conditions."

Thompson says usually, safeguards would be in place to prevent an emergency from occurring, but Exelon will take officials through all four stages.

Thompson says this is considered a full-scale exercise, with participation from Exelon, and all levels of government, with emergency personnel from not only DeWitt County, but Macon, Piatt, and McLean counties, but also a number of state agencies. The test will also have radiological field teams conducting samples of soil and vegetation.

Federal officials will report their findings in Clinton on Friday at DeWitt County's Emergency Operations Center.

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