American Electric Power

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After the myriad of physical security changes implemented for the nation’s nuclear power plants following the attacks of 9/11/01, the nuclear industry completed the “Hostile Action-Based Event” (HABE) exercise program, led by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). Through 2007 – 2009, every US nuclear power plant was required to plan, develop and execute a non-evaluated HABE exercise designed to explore and improve the communications and coordination between the plant and its neighboring community emergency responders.

These HABE drills were unlike the traditional Radiological Emergency Plan (REP) exercises in that the unique scenario, designed to begin with some type of threat or hostile action directed at the nuclear plant, introduced new and different response challenges. In these exercises, the participating organizations’ primary tasks were to coordinate resources and personnel, using the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System (NIMS and ICS, respectively).

In Feburary of 2008, the staff of CMCG was contracted by DC Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Michigan to manage, develop and execute a Hostile Action Based Event exercise in accordance with Nuclear Energy Institute’s 2006-04 initiative.

For this project, CMCG staff members (who were also involved in the design and development of the NEI guidance), provided industry-leading expert project management, design, development and execution support for integration of the Offsite Response Organzations and the onsite Emergency Response Organization.

Offsite tasks included outreach to Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement for coordination with station security forces and the Emergency Preparedness department. CMCG personnel planned and executed a full range of coordination and development activies, such as Buffer Zone Protection Plan (BZPP) integration and refinement, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) validation, planning, testing and validation of ICS integration, and scenario development.

Onsite, CMCG personnel provided extensive planning, training and process development work for the licensee. From targeted NIMS and ICS training for the ERO, simulator development, onsite scenario event design to final production of the scenario manual, CMCG staff led the station’s staff which resulted in a Tabletop Exercise and a Full Scale Exercise that received wide-ranging accolades from local, state and national observers and participants.

The end-product also included a Homeland Security Exercise & Evaluation Program (HSEEP) compliant After Action Report / Improvement Plan (AAR/IP) used by the licensee, the Local Emergency Planning Council and the state of Michigan Emergency Management Division.

The model used at DC Cook was used for successful execution of similar HABE projects at seven other nuclear power plants throughout the US in 2008 and 2009.

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