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Audrain County official named to a national advisory group on radiation preparedness

ACHD
Emergency Planner and Public Information Officer (PIO) Chris Newbrough
Audrain County Health Department
ACHD Emergency Planner and Public Information Officer (PIO) Chris Newbrough

MEXICO, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Audrain County Health Department emergency planner and public information officer has been named to a national advisory group through the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Radiation Preparedness Advisory Group.

Chris Newbrough has been appointed to a 2-year term that begins on July 1.

“I’m very honored to have been given this appointment by NACCHO,” Newbrough said in a release. “This workgroup will help Audrain County become better prepared in the case of an emergency at the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant in Callaway County, or any radiological accident that may happen in Audrain County via air, rail or road.”

The Callaway Nuclear Power Plant is run by Ameren. The plant has a pressurized water reactor and puts out over 3,500 megawatts. The reactor is in Fulton and its license expires in 2044.

While Audrain County is not in the expected wind field if a release was to happen at the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant, Newbrough says it’s an issue that still needs to be prepared for in case it does happen one day.

“The thought is that even though we are not in the predicted wind field of fallout from the plant if a release should occur, we are going to see refugees coming into Audrain County that are residents of Callaway County that may need help when they get here,” Newbrough said in a release. “My hope is to use what I learn in this workgroup at the national level and bring it down to the local level so that we can be better prepared to protect our residents and those that come to Audrain County looking for help in the event of an incident.”

The Radiation Advisory Group currently meets on a bi-monthly basis where they work on the development of a resource tracker to capture national, state and local level radiation preparedness resources. The workgroup also supported a half-day, in-person radiation workshop at the April National Preparedness Summit in Atlanta, with approximately 35 participants.

Karl Wehmhoener

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