Residents and visitors within 10 miles of the Shearon Harris nuclear plant will be treated tomorrow to a full blast of the plant's emergency sirens.
Progress Energy will conduct an annual full-volume test of all 83 sirens between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. The annual test will sound very much like a real emergency, except that the sirens will wail only 3 minutes at a time.
All U.S. nuclear plants are required to have emergency warning systems within a 10-mile emergency planning zone. Shearon Harris conducts four tests a year for about 5 seconds and one test for 3 minutes.
The sirens used by Raleigh-based Progress Energy, which operates the plant, sound like air raid warnings. At 100 feet, they generate 127 decibels, comparable to a human scream or a marching band.