To protect residents from the potentially harmful effects of ionizing radiation and accidents involving a release of radiation from a power station, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Division of Nuclear Safety -
- monitors 11 nuclear power reactors at six nuclear power stations licensed to generate electricity;
- ensures public and employee safety through inspection, licensing, accreditation and certification of radiologic technologists, equipment and facilities; and
- inspects and escorts spent nuclear fuel shipments that enter, exit, or traverse Illinois.
In the event of a radiological accident at any of the nuclear power stations in Illinois or any incident involving the actual or potential release of radiation to the environment,
IEMA will activate the Illinois Plan for Radiological Accidents (IPRA). IPRA is a cooperative effort between state agencies, local governments, and private organizations
designed to ensure any radiological accident is quickly and accurately evaluated and the appropriate response to and recovery from any accident are effectively coordinated.
If there is an accident involving nuclear or radioactive materials
- follow the instructions of emergency service personnel in the area, and
- listen to local TV and radio for instructions and travel information.
Nuclear Power Facilities in Illinois
Events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants in Japan following a devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11 have led to interest in the safety of nuclear power plants in Illinois.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency's (IEMA) Division of Nuclear Safety is devoted to ensuring the safety of people living and working near the 11 operating nuclear power reactors at six sites in the state.
With its innovative programs and experienced staff of nuclear experts, Illinois is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in nuclear safety.
These programs include a one-of-a kind Remote Monitoring System, which monitors conditions in and around each reactor site 24 hours a day;
state resident inspectors conducting independent safety inspections at each facility; the Radiological Emergency Assessment Center, where data from the monitoring system is received and analyzed;
and a Radiological Task Force that can assess the impact of radiological incidents.
Read more about nuclear power in Illinois and IEMA's nuclear safety programs in the following documents.
Illinois Nuclear Power Stations
Environmental Monitoring for Radionuclides Associated with the Fukushima Nuclear Accident
The IEMA Bureau of Environmental Safety (BES) routinely monitors for radioactivity in various media in the environment surrounding nuclear generating stations and other nuclear facilities in Illinois.
The monitoring program also includes the collection of "background" data from locations away from the nuclear sites.
In the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent release of radioactive effluents from their Fukushima nuclear installations,
BES began reviewing data from background locations and collecting additional samples of the various media at locations away from nuclear sites in an attempt to identify radionuclides
that may be transported by the north pacific wind currents.
The result has been the identification of minute quantities of radioactive elements that are consistent with those released from the Fukushima reactors or fuel pools.
BES results are consistent with those identified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and other states.
In all cases where radionuclides could be detected, the concentrations were an extremely small fraction of the allowable limit and resulting dose for their respective exposure pathway.
Read the full
Summary of Analytical Results.
For Additional Information