Radiological preparedness excercise scheduled this week at Monticello nuclear plant

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DPS-HSEM), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Radiological Monitoring Assessment Center (FRMAC) will conduct a radiological emergency preparedness exercise around the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant this week (Oct. 17-21).

The Northern Lights exercise will involve helicopter flights between the areas of Monticello and Camp Ripley.

The helicopter may also fly over Benton, Cass, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and Wright counties, stated a Minnesota Department of Public Safety news advisory issued this morning (Monday, Oct. 17).

The helicopter will fly at 150 feet (or higher) above the ground in a grid pattern during daylight hours only.

Residents should not be alarmed by the helicopter or other field personnel carrying out their duties during the exercise, the news advisory stated.

This exercise will take place at Camp Ripley. Some field activities may occur in communities around the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant and Camp Ripley.

Participating agencies will include Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the Minnesota departments of Agriculture, Health, Human Services, Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency Transportation, the Minnesota National Guard, Xcel Energy, operators of the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).