Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Cold War Exercise Deja Vu

by Gabe Faimon

While serving as State Liaison to the Wolf Creek Nuclear Generating Station, located 60 miles south of Topeka, KS, I participated in exercises which simulated emergencies at Wolf Creek.

Numerous exercise scenarios included events which required “buttoning down” in the Wolf Creek Emergency Operations Center, 12 miles from the plant. Most of those scenarios involved releases of radioactive hydrogen to relieve increasing internal pressure in a crippled reactor. Often, simulated winds drove the gas plume toward and/or over the EOC. Through experience from Wolf Creek exercises, I certainly understand and respect Japan’s “real time” problems regarding reactors damaged by the massive earthquake and resultant tsunami.

Each Wolf Creek exercise reminded me of participation in a nuclear war exercise while assigned to HQ 13 AF. However, simulated reports regarding Wolf Creek did not include information regarding nuclear weapons strikes against U.S. cities and/or military installations, and those of our allies.

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