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Surry nuclear power plant will no longer use siren during emergencies as new alert system takes effect

Daily Press 2/1/2023 Dominic Catacora, Daily Press

Residents living near the Surry Power Station will no longer hear sirens in the case of an emergency.

Dominion Energy announced Wednesday that both the Surry and North Anna nuclear power stations will now send alerts directly to cell phones, similar to what is done for Amber Alerts and alerts for severe weather. Residents who live within a 10-mile radius of the stations will receive the alerts.

The new system, called IPAWS, or the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, will also immediately notify television and radio broadcasters. Residential and business phones will be called, and plans remain in place to notify recreational areas such as parks and waterways, according to Dominion.

One of the benefits of the new system is that real-time information can be transmitted in the case of an emergency, rather than just a siren sound. The alerts will provide information on what to do and what actions to take in an emergency.

“Protecting the health and safety of the public is central to everything we do at Dominion Energy,” Dan Stoddard, Dominion’s senior vice president, chief nuclear officer and president–contracted assets, said in a statement. “We are excited about the transition to this new and improved technology for alerting the public in the extremely unlikely situation of an event at one of our nuclear stations.”

The system was approved last year by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Federal Emergency Management Agency first implemented wireless emergency alerts in 2012.

Quarterly siren tests will be replaced by operational tests by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. During these tests, the public will not receive alerts on their phone.

More information can be found at

Dominic Catacora,, 757-798-9833

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