Nuclear Emergency Preparedness

Nuclear Emergency Preparedness Drill

North Carolina has nuclear power plants in three counties: Brunswick, Mecklenburg and Wake. In addition, the 10-mile emergency-planning zone for a South Carolina nuclear plant overlaps into a portion of North Carolina. All four plants are operated by Duke Energy.

State and local emergency management officials work together year round to coordinate emergency response plans and activities in the unlikely event of a radiation release at any of these four plants. 

Task forces  -- comprised of emergency response officials, law enforcement, first responders and public health officials from each of the impacted counties -- meet regularly to discuss plans, procedures and issues to ensure that those who are responsible for protecting the public are ready to respond at a moment's notice.

Nuclear plans, mandated by the federal government, include the evacuation of residents within a 10-mile emergency zone BEFORE a release of radiation occurs. Portions of the plans are tested regularly and drills for each plant are held and evaluated every two years by both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Information about nuclear preparedness specific to each plant is available from Duke Energy.  

Nuclear Facility Zone Map Emergency Instructions (English/Espanol)
Brunswick Nuclear Plant  - Southport  (Brunswick County) Map Brunswick Emergency Planning Information
Harris Nuclear Plant - New Hill (Wake County) Map Harris Emergency Planning Information
McGuire Nuclear Station - Huntersville (Mecklenburg County) Map McGuire Emergency Planning Information
Catawba Nuclear Station - York (York County, SC) Map Catawba Emergency Planning Information

Radiological Operations Support Specialist Program

North Carolina is working to expand its response capabilities for radiological emergencies with the implementation of the Radiological Operations Support Specialist (ROSS) Program.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Conference of Radiation Program Control Directors developed this program to provide certified radiological operations subject matter experts to state, local, tribal and territorial agencies with information, resources and recommendations related to emergencies and emergency planning. Qualification and refresher training is available for ROSS personnel for all types of potential radiological incidents to include transportation, nuclear facility incidents and terrorism events. Certified ROSS personnel may have the opportunity to deploy to other states experiencing radiological emergencies through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).  

For additional information on the North Carolina ROSS program contact Bennifer Pate, ROSS Coordinator for North Carolina at  For a position description visit FEMA's Radiological Operations Support Specialist page.