The South Texas Project Electric Generating Station (STPEGS) is located in Matagorda County, Texas. The plant site is approximately 13 miles south-southwest of Bay City, 12 miles northeast of Palacios, Texas, and 90 miles southwest of Houston, Texas.
Radiation Control's Role
The Radiation Control Program has responsibility for environmental surveillance outside the plant boundaries and involvement in emergency response exercises.
Before STPEGS could be licensed for start up and operation, a full-scale emergency response exercise had to be successfully staged. After start up, at periodic intervals, exercises must be performed to assure that public health and safety can be protected in the event of an emergency.
Two government agencies, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) determine if the emergency response exercise is successful.
Nuclear power facilities are required to perform emergency response exercises at specific intervals: every year for the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and every two years for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Nuclear Power Plant Emergency Response Exercises
Texas has a Radiological Emergency Plan that is used by Radiation Control and a team of state agencies to respond to any radiological emergency. The Radiation Control Program participates by providing technical assistance and expertise. Under the direction of the Chief of Field Operations, Radiation Control provides:
- Emergency operations coordinators
- Liaisons who work with the utility company
- Health physicists who assess the accident to determine what protection is necessary for the public
- Public information specialists
- Administrative support
- Field monitoring teams
- Liaisons to work with medical facilities
- Staff to advise about contamination control at roadblocks and reception centers
- Mobile laboratory to analyze samples of water, soil, vegetation and air