Oconee Nuclear Station

To minimize health and safety risks of COVID-19, all facilities are closed and programming is canceled until further notice.

One of the external groups that the office of emergency management must communicate with is The Oconee Nuclear Station (ONS), a nuclear power plant located on Lake Keowee. Because Clemson University is located within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) of the Oconee Nuclear Station, it 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 (FEMA) 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 if ONS depletes their organic resources.

Oconee and Pickens Counties are also graded by FEMA 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 FEMA, the 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 the ability to meet every task graded by FEMA and rehearses the evacuation task on several occasions each year.

Oconee Nuclear Station