03/16/11 223 W, 2 I - + 7 - 8 What the Harris Plant Sirens Sound Like

The events in Japan inevitably turn thoughts to our own nuclear power plants and particularly the one right down the road in New Hill. The Shearon Harris Nuclear Generating Station, as this Wikipedia page notes, has a single pressurized-water nuclear reactor that began producing power in May 1987.

Four reactors were planned for the site, but three were canceled due to budget issues and weak demand. Applications have been filed to building two more reactors on the site, and they would not be operational before 2018. The current reactor is licensed to operate for sixty years, it's original forty-year license extended in 2008. 

In the event of an emergency that required notification of the general public, 81 outdoor warning sirens in a 10-mile radius of the plant could be sounded. That's the plant's Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ). The sirens are located in Chatham, Harnett, Lee, and Wake counties. Picture below from this web page.

Who makes the sirens? Haven't found that information, though it's probably Federal Signal. They made the familiar Thunderbolt sirens that we've all seen. And probably heard, back when such sirens were tested. Or even used, as Mr. Blogger remembers from tornado warnings in Minnesota in his youth.

Listen to the sirens.

Read the Harris Plant media guide.  

They’re either Federal or Whelen. I know Holly Springs has a Whelen system at the water tank on Lee St., but it may only be a warning system in case the tank malfunctions and has the potential to cause a flood of the low-lying Remington neighborhood. There is also a new site (about a year or so old) on Kildaire Farm Rd. near Holly Springs Rd., which is also Whelen.
Duda (Email) - 03/16/11 - 09:34

I browsed the Progress Energy pages you linked a bit and it seems this is actually the sound of the new sirens?


Found here: http://www.progress-energy.com/aboutener..
Tim - 03/16/11 - 11:53

According to a MSNBC story Shearon Harris comes in at 101 out of 104 in terms of risk from earthquake:
Paul - 03/16/11 - 12:11

All the new electronic sirens are made by Whelen. The tunderbolts were made by Federal if I remember right.
Zack A - 03/16/11 - 14:15

Thunderbolts were made by Federal. The new ones are Whelens.
DJ - 03/16/11 - 21:45

The siren sound link is the old Federals. To hear the new Whelens, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELjlwgKhl... There is one of these at the entrance to my subdivision. The last full power test was a 2-3 minute wail like the one in the videao.
DJ - 03/16/11 - 21:53

So is the Whelen an electronic siren?
Legeros - 03/16/11 - 21:55

Oops. The top link is the Federals, the one in Tim’s post is the Whelens. They are electronics. Whelen model is WPS-2908.
DJ - 03/16/11 - 22:03

Yes, the Whelens are electronic. They have a driver and PA in the box mounted under the speaker stack and there is usually a second box for a battery back-up. City of Raleigh’s flood warning system (I think) still uses Fed Sig, which are also electronic. The systems also give the control center the ability to transmit voice over them to give commands or information.
Duda (Email) - 03/18/11 - 08:57

Sparky - 03/18/11 - 14:39

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