SPRINGFIELD – A pilot program recently launched by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will create a pool of radiation response volunteers trained to support the state’s response to large-scale radiological accidents at the six operating nuclear power plants in Illinois.
Illinois’ Radiation Response Volunteer Corps (RRVC) members will assist with administrative, logistical and communications support tasks and radiological monitoring of potentially contaminated individuals at community reception centers following a major incident at a nuclear power plant.
“Illinois has a top-notch radiation and nuclear safety program, with a team of professionals trained to respond to incidents at the nuclear power plants,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “During a large-scale event, Radiation Response Volunteer Corps members would enhance our ability to ensure the health and safety of people affected by the incident.”
Monken said IEMA is looking for volunteers with knowledge or skills in radiation survey and decontamination procedures, the ability to help affected people deal with the psychological impact of such an event, or the ability to communicate clearly through two-way radios and other forms of communications.
IEMA received a grant totaling $24,500 from the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, Inc. (CRCPD) to fund the pilot program. The RRVC pilot program will focus on developing a base of approximately 40 volunteers for the area near the Dresden Nuclear Power Station in Grundy County. IEMA plans to eventually expand the program to the other nuclear power plant sites and for other types of radiological incidents that occur anywhere in Illinois.
Information about the RRVC program and an application for people interested in participating in the RRVC is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.