The preparation of the local nuclear power plant is a subject after the attack on a Ukrainian installation

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — “By the grace of God, the world narrowly avoided a nuclear catastrophe last night”…. these are the words of the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield. She was referring to the Russian attack on Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

Parts of the facility were damaged and fires broke out after Russian troops hit it with artillery shells, sparking conversations near us about the readiness of our plants nuclear.

Tim Henry is the Deputy Director of Public Safety for Monroe County. He says he and his Wayne County counterparts have contingency plans in place in the event of an attack on Ontario’s Ginna Nuclear Generating Station, a 426-acre site on the south shore of the lake.

“Obviously a cyberattack on anything on a power grid, including Ginna, was within our reach,” Henry says.

Also any direct military or terrorist attack. “Certainly we have contingencies for what we consider or categorize as ‘hostile actions,'” he says.

He says what the world witnessed this week in Ukraine is unlikely here but remains in the realm of hostile action. The likelihood of anything, cyber or otherwise, breaching the systems there, he says, is low.

“The control systems are very autonomous, very scrutinized by federal regulators,” he says.

In Henry’s words: a hardened installation.

In the event that something should happen, for those within ten miles of the plant, a sounding siren is the first sign of action. “Take shelter, connect” or turn on your radio.

If there is a radiation leak, again a remote possibility, supermarkets around the facility have free potassium iodide pills, which reduce radiation in the body.

Henry encourages everyone to get them. He says the factory and the region are ready for anything.

“As of now, no worries. We are watching. We are aware and communicating with our state and federal partners,” he says.

Jessica C. Bell