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News Maryland Harford County Abingdon

Peach Bottom nuclear plant emergency sirens accidentally activated Tuesday

The emergency sirens at the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station were accidentally activated Tuesday, and a Harford County emergency services spokesman stressed there was no danger to local residents.

The Peach Bottom nuclear plant is in Delta, Pa. about 20 miles north of Bel Air. The plant is operated by Exelon Nuclear, part of Exelon Generation, which also owns the Conowingo Dam on the Susquehanna River and is the parent company of BGE.

It is jointly owned by Exelon Generation and PSEG Nuclear, a subsidiary of PSEG Power LLC of New Jersey.

"There was no incident at the plant," said Bob Thomas, spokesman for the Harford County Department of Emergency Services. "The alarms were not due to any condition at Peach Bottom."

Thomas said the emergency sirens in York County, Pa., were "inadvertently" activated by the local emergency management agency at 11:21 a.m.

He said residents in northern Harford County, living near the Mason-Dixon Line, could hear the sirens, and the Harford 911 center received 15 to 20 calls.

Lacey Dean, manager of communications for Peach Bottom, said Harford and Cecil counties, as well as York, Chester and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania are part of a 10-mile emergency preparedness zone around the plant.

She said plant officials "work very closely" with emergency officials in each county; 97 sirens have been placed in all five counties, and plant operators have protocols to notify county officials who can then activate the sirens.

Dean said plant officials have been working with the counties to replace the sirens, and a vendor technician was working in the control room of the York County emergency operations center Tuesday on the technology used to activate the sirens.

She said 25 sirens in York County went off for three minutes, within earshot of northern Harford residents.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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