Braceville, Illinois - Exelon Nuclear completed a $3.6 million siren upgrade project used for emergency public notification around each of its six Illinois nuclear plants, the company said today.
The five-year project involved removing select small sirens around each of the plants and installing more reliable, efficient larger sirens that have improved sound coverage and battery back-up.
A total of 168 sirens with battery back-up were installed in the 10-mile emergency planning zones (EPZ) located within the States of Illinois and Iowa. Braidwood now has a total of 70 sirens. Residents within the 10-mile EPZ will continue to hear the sirens, but may notice a slight change from where the sound is originating.
"These sirens are an important part of Exelon Nuclear's emergency plan, and they also benefit the counties in which each station resides," said Kevin Appel, Exelon Nuclear's Emergency Preparedness Manager. "The siren system layout was designed by a siren acoustic engineering company and approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency."
Although Exelon Nuclear pays for the installation and maintenance of these sirens, individual counties may use the sirens to warn area residents of impending fires, tornados, floods or other threatening events. The sirens are a signal to tune to the local Emergency Alert Station.
Testing of the new sirens took place today Jan. 5, 2010. The emergency sirens in Illinois and Iowa are tested at 10 a.m. on the first Tuesday of every month.