Revised plan in place in case of nuclear plant leak

PLYMOUTH — The Donald C. Cook nuclear plant, in Bridgman, Mich. is 45 miles from Plymouth.

“We are within what’s considered the 50 mile ingestion pathway,” said Clyde Avery, Marshall County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director to the county commissioners Tuesday.

Avery said later that the only municipalities not in the ingestion pathway are Culver, Argos, and Bourbon—although they would feel the impact if a release were to occur.

Avery asked the commissioners’ permission to add a revised ingestion plan to the existing county emergency plan. The plan is revised every few years in accordance to federal regulations.

If a situation were to occur, Avery explained that one of the first steps would be to have emergency personnel notify people in the pathway. This would be done via news media, emergency alert systems, the Nixle notification system, and the EMA’s social media accounts.

“It may be a situation where we would go door-to-door if necessary,” said Avery.

Avery said that if there were to be a release from the nuclear plant, the federal government would be involved immediately.

He expects that they would be testing substances in the communities affected such as milk, grass, eggs, meat, fish, water, and produce. Residents would be notified as to what level of consumption is safe.

Avery said that although the state does require Marshall County to have ingestion plan in place, it is “very unlikely” that a nuclear release would ever occur.

The commissioners passed a motion to allow the revised plan to be added to the county emergency plan.
Avery also noted that September is National Preparedness Month, and said that he has information on how to prepare for various disasters in his office on the third floor of the Marshall County Building. The public is invited to come and pick up this information during business hours.