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Copiah team holds Grand Gulf exercise

GRAND GULF EXERCISE – Members of the Copiah County radiological response team conducted an exercise last Tuesday evening at Hazlehurst Middle School to evaluate their training for any potential emergencies at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station. Copiah serves as a reception site to receive evacuees in the event of a nuclear emergency. The exercise is evaluated by state and federal emergency management officials.

Copiah County is a host county in the event of a nuclear emergency. Local emergency personnel work with Claiborne County and the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station to prepare for a possible nuclear emergency at the Port Gibson power plant.

There are four classifications of an emergency at Grand Gulf:

1. Notification of Unusual Event ( least serious)

2. Alert (could effect plant safety)

3. Site Area Emergency (could possibly effect the public)

4. General Emergency (most serious, action taken to protect public)

“The general emergency is when the public could be evacuated and the Copiah County reception center would be opened to assist the school children from Claiborne,” explained Randle Drane, Copiah County Emergency Management Agency director. “The school children would be monitored for any radiation exposure or contamination and sheltered until the parents or guardians could pick up them from the Copiah reception center.”  

Exercises are performed every two years along with an exercise at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station.  

“Copiah County has a long standing with the state and FEMA for doing an excellent job during the exercise,” said Drane.

Copiah County held its exercise last Tuesday evening at Hazlehurst Middle School. The exercise has traditionally taken place at Hazlehurst High School, but homecoming activities prompted a change of location this year.

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