Tallahassee (CBS4)-Florida is prepared to meet any catastrophic challenges that might threaten any of the five nuclear reactors housed in the state, Governor Rick Scott said.
Following the events at nuclear power facilities in Japan in recent days in the aftermath of a massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami that has led to possible nuclear meltdowns in that Pacific island-nation, Scott asked his emergency management director to review Florida’s emergency action plan.
“This weekend, Director Koon and his staff made a comprehensive review of the State’s action plans to ensure Florida is prepared to face a disaster of this magnitude,” said Governor Scott. “The information I’ve received shows that across state agencies, in conjunction with federal partners and utility operators, we are prepared for an effective and rapid emergency response.”
Watch Web Video Extras of Disaster In Japan:
Florida has five active nuclear energy reactors operating at three facilities. There are three additional facilities within 100 miles of Florida’s borders. Utility operators coordinate frequent emergency preparedness drills with government agencies at the local, state and federal level. The Florida Division of Emergency Management has the overall responsibility for coordination of the response to a nuclear power plant emergency.
“At Governor Scott’s direction, we reviewed Florida’s plans and preparedness at our nuclear power facilities,” said Director Koon. “Annually, each Florida nuclear facility conducts exercises to test many different scenarios to ensure that there are plans in place and we are prepared for any event. We are confident in our ability to respond and our review affirmed our readiness.”
Scott said Florida is ready to assist.
“Like the rest of the world, the people of Florida are watching the unfolding tragedy in the wake of earthquakes and tsunamis across the Pacific Rim. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims, and Florida stands ready to assist in any way possible,” said Governor Scott.
Meanwhile, Democratic state Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda of Tallahassee has filed a bill to repeal a Florida law that allows utility companies to recover costs for designing, licensing and building nuclear and integrated gasification combined cycle power plants.
Vasilinda said Monday that nuclear energy is too expensive and too dangerous — as evidenced by the recent events in Japan — for Florida citizens.
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