POTTSTOWN, Pa - Exelon Nuclear will soon begin the testing of new sirens that have been installed over the past few months. The tests are part of a larger project to replace all 165 emergency sirens in the 10 miles around Limerick Generating Station with sirens that include battery back up. The first phase of the project began in Sept. 2009.
The testing is scheduled to begin the week of Aug. 9 with sirens located in Chester County. Testing will continue in September with sirens in Montgomery County and conclude in October with the sirens in Berks County. The individual siren tests may be performed daily from the respective county start date until the end of Nov. 2010. The typical duration of the testing will be between 15 - 30 seconds and could occur several times in a row. Occasionally, siren activation may last the full three minutes. The siren acoustics will be similar to those of current emergency sirens.
Residents may contact the counties at the following numbers if they have concerns during testing:
Berks County (610) 374-4800
Chester County (610) 344-5000
Montgomery County (610) 631-6530
The new and old sirens will be operable concurrently for a 4-month period to ensure they operate properly. Completion of the project and removal of the existing sirens is scheduled for 2011.
This $3.8 million investment around Limerick is part of Exelon Nuclear's commitment to replace and upgrade the emergency sirens at all of the sites in the mid-Atlantic including Three Mile Island, Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, and Oyster Creek Generating Station. This project will involve a total investment of more than $9 million and the replacement of 400 sirens.
"The sirens are an important part of our commitment to the safety of the public," said Bill Maguire, Limerick site vice president. "This significant investment is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure that Limerick Generating Station remains a leader in the industry and the community."
The warning sirens are one of several methods used by county emergency management authorities to provide notification of emergencies. Individual counties may activate the sirens to warn the surrounding community of events such as fires, floods, tornados, hazardous material releases, or nuclear energy plant events. The sirens are not a signal to evacuate, but to tune to the local Emergency Alert Station.
Limerick Generating Station is located approximately 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The plant produces approximately 2,200 net megawatts of carbon-free electricity per hour, enough to power approximately two million homes.