ROCK HILL, S.C. Last Tuesday there was a mock terrorism exercise at the Catawba Nuclear Power Station on Lake Wylie.

Thursday, officials who took part in the drill got a preliminary grade.

The drill involved a mock attack on the plant that supposedly led to one of the two nuclear units having to be shut down.

That drill was closed to reporters but the critique at the York County Emergency Management Office in Rock Hill was open to the public.

Officials from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission monitored the drill and announced the preliminary grade.

Mark Speck of the NRC said, I think I can say that their performance was probably more than adequate and demonstrated that had this been an actual event, they would have been very effective at protecting public health and safety.

The final report on the drill from the NRC will be completed in about a month.

The goal of the mock attack was to test emergency procedures at the Duke Energy nuclear plant and the readiness to respond by state and federal agencies.

It s good to have nice paper plans and to train on those plans, said Cotton Howell, the head of York County s Office of Emergency Management, but we had to validate those plans and make sure that, yes, we can implement the plans and do it effectively.

Zell Emory and others who live within a 10 mile radius of the plant, often hear the warning sirens being tested.

We ve been here 30 years and it hasn t been a problem. We know that there is a possibility of a, you know, but we don t think about it.

Another area resident, John Cauthen said, We are close and if something were to happen, everybody would be affected.

York Sheriff Bruce Bryant, whose deputies played a role in thwarting the mock attack said, I think we are ready. If we are challenged, I think we re ready to meet the challenge.

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