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Radiological Emergency Response Program
The Radiological Emergency Response Plan (RERP) organizes NH emergency capabilities for a rapid and coordinated response to any incident at commercial nuclear power plants in or adjacent to NH (i.e., NH Seabrook and VT Yankee nuclear power stations).

The NH Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) coordinates the plan and delegates many responsibilities to other NH state and private agencies. The DHHS Commissioner is specifically assigned responsibility to establish and manage Registration and Rendezvous Services (R&RS) at Reception Centers in the event of a need to evacuate the population from impacted areas. Responsibility for R&RS is delegated to the Coordinator of Emergency Services (CES). Funding may be federal, NH general funds, utility funds, or any combination.

There are four Emergency Classification Levels (ECL's) under RERP:

  • Unusual Event - No action by DHHS.
  • Alert - Emergency Service Unit (ESU) staffs are notified and the CES reports to the Emergency Operations Center.
  • Site Area Emergency - ESU staffs placed on standby.
  • General Emergency - ESU staffs activate Registration and Rendezvous Services at the Emergency Operations Center at the direction of the CES.

Whenever a significant incident occurs at a commercial nuclear facility HSEM mobilizes a decision-making team at the state's Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This team decides how to classify the incident in conjunction with the utility involved. A DHHS volunteer group is organized and trained to set-up and operate R&RS at one or more host facilities. This core group will be supplemented by other staff in sufficient numbers to process incoming evacuees. They will be joined by volunteers from the American Red Cross and by mental health counselors.

All evacuees will be registered, their housing and other needs determined, and assistance provided to reunite them with other family members. Coordination with other Reception Center operations will be established and maintained. The CES will be in continual contact with R&RS staff at the EOC and respond to needs for material and staffing resources from his or her post at the EOC.

If an incident at the Seabrook or Vermont Yankee nuclear power stations requires the evacuation of towns in any affected areas, the host communities of Manchester, Dover, Rochester and Keene will open Reception Centers, as needed, in selected schools in each host community. Evacuees will register upon arrival at a Reception Center and be referred to a Red Cross shelter as necessary.

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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