Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Cindy Ross Lundy ()
Communications and External Relations

Secondary Contact: Ron Walli (wallira@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations
(865) 576-0226


ORNL emergency response exercise, siren test set for July 20

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., July 14, 2005 — Hundreds of responders will participate in a large-scale emergency management exercise set for Wednesday, July 20, at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and several associated locations.

As part of the exercise, public warning sirens surrounding ORNL will be sounded. The sounding of the sirens on the morning of July 20 is only a test in conjunction with the exercise. The sirens are intended to provide immediate notification of an emergency to people who are within an approximate two-mile radius of the site. Also, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency will activate the regional Emergency Alert System with a test message to be broadcast on local radio and television stations.

The emergency exercise will involve a hypothetical scenario that results in the simulated release of hazardous material. It will conclude a series of exercises that have been conducted during recent months to ensure that the public, on-site employees and the environment would be protected in the unlikely event of an emergency on the Oak Ridge Reservation.

Exercise participants will include DOE Headquarters; the DOE Oak Ridge Office; UT-Battelle; the State of Tennessee; the City of Oak Ridge; Anderson, Knox, Loudon and Roane counties; BWXT Y-12; Bechtel Jacobs Company; and the American Red Cross. The exercise will test the integrated capabilities of these agencies to respond to an emergency resulting from an event at ORNL.

Anyone near the exercise scene on July 20 might observe personnel performing environmental sampling, city or county emergency vehicles en route to ORNL, or other exercise participants simulating emergency response activities. Although roads in the vicinity of the site could be blocked for rerouting of traffic in an actual emergency, the exercise will involve no disruption to traffic on state highways.

In the unlikely event of an actual emergency on the Oak Ridge Reservation involving the release of airborne hazardous materials, the warning sirens would alert people to take shelter indoors, turn off ventilation systems and tune to one of the local radio or television stations for additional instructions.

More information on emergency preparedness can be found on the DOE Oak Ridge Office Web site at http://www.oakridge.doe.gov/emercomm/.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy.