The Oconee Nuclear Station (ONS) is a nuclear power plant located on Lake Keowee near Seneca, South Carolina. Clemson University is located within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) of the Oconee Nuclear Station. Because of our location, Clemson University is required to participate in a “Graded Nuclear Exercise” once every 2 years. During this exercise, ONS is graded by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on very stringent operational and emergency procedures. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) also grades ONS and the two counties that are directly impacted by ONS, Oconee and Pickens Counties, on their ability to provide additional resources to ONS in the event that ONS depletes their organic resources.
Oconee and Pickens Counties are also graded by F.E.M.A. on their ability to evacuate their populations in various zones around ONS. Clemson University is located primarily in Pickens County and therefore must also demonstrate to F.E.M.A., our ability to perform several key tasks if there were ever emergency conditions at ONS. The most visible task is evacuation of the entire campus. Clemson University Public Safety officials are confident in our ability to meet every task graded by F.E.M.A and rehearses the evacuation task on several occasions each year.