Oyster Creek is just one of the nuclear power plants submitting updating Evacuation Time Estimates for the ten mile radius around the plant.

Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant
Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant (Exelon)

Emergency planning requirements dictate the ETE's for every plant get updated regularly, as conditions change or once each decade to correspond with the federal census.

Neil Sheehan, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Public Information Officer for Region 1, says they have been receiving updated ETE for all the plants and will undertake a review of the information to review whether any changes are needed.

Since FEMA is responsible for emergency off-site response for nuclear power plants, Sheehan says the federal organization will be responsible for carrying out the changes.

The new estimates take into account the latest census data as well as new road construction as well as changes to hospitals and other infrastructure.

Sheehan says the end goal is for state and local authorities to have the information when they need to develop off site protection action strategies.

"If they needed to evacuate a certain quadrant of the emergency planning zone , they will now know, based on the studies, how long they should anticipate."

FEMA also has input on the report to make sure the methods developed by the plant are acceptable for demonstrating compliance with the regulations.

"Most of the plant will contract with firms that specialize in traffic and mobility studies and then they will file that report with us."

ETE is a calculation of the time to evacuate the plume exposure pathway Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ), which is an area with a radius of about 10 miles around a nuclear power plant. The ETE should be developed to provide the time to evacuate 90 percent and 100 percent of the total population of the EPZ.

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