Reactor drills will test reaction times

Friday, June 15, 2007 | 5:31 p.m. CDT; updated 2:47 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

If you see fire trucks speeding toward MU’s Research Reactor Center on Monday with lights blazing and horns blaring, don’t worry.

This is only a test.

Mary Jo Banken, executive director of the MU News Bureau, said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires the Research Reactor Center to hold an emergency simulation every other year.

To enhance the realism of the drill, the reactor staff will be kept in the dark about the nature of the emergency until the last minute, Banken said.

In addition to the reactor staff, other participating agencies will include the Columbia Fire and Police Departments, MU Police and the University Hospital and Clinics.

After the simulation, representatives from these agencies will meet to talk about improvements that can be made to the emergency protocol, Banken said.

“We’ve never had any real emergencies,” Banken said, “and all past simulations have gone well.”

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