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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Time to update nuclear power emergency plans

The anticipated restarting of Unit 1 at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant understandably has Limestone County Emergency Management Agency looking at the need to update procedures.

The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to fire up the unit in May. It has been down since 1985. But Limestone EMA Director Spencer Black suggested that 26-year-old emergency response plans need updating. He cited the lack of emergency power to operate shelters in Limestone County and elsewhere.

The nuclear energy industry has changed greatly during the time Unit 1 has been idle. Even the Nuclear Regulatory Commission does business differently when it comes to rebuilding and constructing nuclear plants. So, if some radiological emergency plans are a quarter century old, it behooves the government to update them.

Gone are the days when "unusual occurrences" at Browns Ferry were routine, but accidents still occur. We need to be properly prepared.

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