In this episode (28) we talk with Bill Potter, Senior Emergency Services Coordinator for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. He’s been with Cal OES for 15 years, all with the Radiological Preparedness Unit as lead for the Nuclear Power Plant program.
In 1979, following the accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, the California State Legislature mandated that the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), together with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and affected counties, investigate the consequences of a serious nuclear power plant accident. Based on site-specific studies in 1980, Emergency Planning Zones (EPZ) around the plant sites were established in detail and integrated plans were developed. Legislation mandating the NPP program has been continuous since 1979, enacted as Government Code and Health and Safety Code sections, called the Radiation Protection Act.
The Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Program covers emergency planning issues related to the State’s one operating nuclear power plant – Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP). The NPP program also continues coordination with one decommissioning nuclear power plant – San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and two retired nuclear power plants – Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant and Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. The NPP program works with federal, state, local and utility officials in emergency planning, training and exercises to test emergency readiness. Together, through these combined preparedness efforts, the State of California provides reasonable assurance that appropriate measures can be taken to protect the health and safety of the public in the event of a radiological emergency at a nuclear power plant.
Prior to coming joining Cal OES Potter spent 20 years in the US Air Force attached to many units including AFTAC, Nuclear Detection, Collection, and Analysis. He was a seismic systems maintenance technician, Airborne Scientific Laboratory Technician (SEO), DLI Arabic Language grad, and RSO at McClellan Central Lab.