Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
How would I know if there was an emergency at Palo Verde?
In the event of an emergency at Palo Verde, plant operators would immediately
notify State and Maricopa County emergency officials. These
organizations are prepared to respond in accordance with the Palo Verde
Offsite Response Plan. If it is necessary to alert the public, the sirens
will be sounded.
What do I do if I hear the sirens?
If an incident occurs at Palo Verde involving the actual or potential
release of radiation into the atmosphere, the Outdoor Warning Siren System
within the 10-mile area around the plant will sound for approximately
three minutes with a steady, high pitched sound. If you hear the sirens,
go indoors immediately and turn on your radio to KTAR (620 AM or 92.3FM), KMVP (98.7
FM), or other local radio or television
stations to hear instructions from government officials. If you hear a
siren and do not hear an Emergency Alert System (EAS) message within 10
minutes, call (602) 371-7171. A crew will be sent to repair the siren.
From time to time you may hear a siren for five to 15 seconds. These are
called "chirp" and "growl" tests respectively and
are part of the siren maintenance program. These tests are performed only
during the day and have a low-pitched sound. If you hear one of these
tests, there is no need to call the plant.
The Federal government requires a full activation of the system annually
for testing. Residents within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone are notified in advance
of this test date. They are also notified of any other maintenance when
sirens may be sounded for extended periods of time.
Can a nuclear plant explode like a nuclear bomb?
No. The fuel used in a nuclear plant has very low levels of the type of
material that could cause a nuclear explosion. Even so, precautions need
to be taken to ensure that radioactive materials do not reach the environment.
I need assistance during an evacuation; what do I do?
If you need assistance during an evacuation, please fill out the Assistance Survey (Solicitude de Asistencia) provided by PVNGS and return it so we can
make arrangements to help before an evacuation is necessary. If you have
not received a card, and require assistance, please call MCDEM at (602)
What happens to my pets during an evacuation?
Bring your pets with you when you leave the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone. Maricopa County
Animal Care and Control and the Arizona Humane Society will have temporary
shelter available for your use while you are making alternate arrangements.
They will be co-located with the Reception and Care Center.
My child goes to school near Palo Verde, where can I pick them
up in an emergency?
When school is in session all the children attending schools within the
10-mile Emergency Planning Zone will be transported to the designated Reunification Center or Reception and Care Center
and can be picked up there. Each school has sufficient buses available
to evacuate all the children. It is important that you listen to the school telephone messaging and EAS
message to see which location has been opened.
For information on how Palo Verde works, see this PDF
For information on American Nuclear Insurance, see this PDF