Construction began Wednesday on a new 12,000-square-foot emergency operations center at Ohio's Perry nuclear plant.FirstEnergy is building the center to locate emergency facilities for maintaining public health and safety in the event of a plant emergency. According to a FirstEnergy release, it will include state-of-the-art environmental monitoring and communications equipment. The center also will host regular emergency training drills at the plant."Protecting the health and safety of the public is our primary responsibility," Perry vice president Mark Bezilla was quoted as saying in the release. "The new center, coupled with the knowledgeable men and women who operate from the center, will ensure our responsibility is fully upheld."Construction is scheduled to be complete in 2012, with the existing emergency operations center remaining in service until then.FirstEnergy generates up to 1,261 megawatts at the plant near Cleveland using a General Electric BWR-6 reactor with Mark III containment licensed in 1986, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.