News & Events
Resources & Stats
Careers & Education
How It Works
Safety & Security
Email to a friend
New Nuclear Energy Facilities
Nuclear Waste Disposal
Protecting the Environment
Reliable & Affordable Energy
Safety & Security
Graphics and Charts
Personnel Training and Screening
DID YOU KNOW?
Each nuclear power plant must conduct a full-scale exercise of its emergency plan every two years.
Every nuclear power plant in the country has a detailed plan for responding in the event of an emergency. Operators test that plan regularly, with the participation of local and state emergency response organizations.
Federal Emergency Preparedness Regulations
U.S. nuclear energy facilities are required by law to develop and test comprehensive on-site and off-site emergency response plans. The
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
and the state in which the plant is located review and approve these plans.
The NRC coordinates approval of these plans with the
Federal Emergency Management Agency Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program
, which has the lead role in emergency planning beyond the nuclear plant site.
Each plant must conduct a full-scale emergency exercise every two years, coordinated with local and state government agencies.
Emergency Planning Zones
The U.S. government has established a 10-mile emergency planning zone around each nuclear energy facility to protect the public in the event of a serious reactor accident.
In the event of a release of radiation, state and local governments will sample water, milk, soil and crops within a 50-mile radius of a nuclear energy facility to determine if radiation was deposited.
If evacuation were necessary, emergency responders would initially focus on citizens likely to be exposed to a potential radioactive release.
Several communities have used off-site nuclear facility emergency plans in response to other types of emergencies. For example, during the October 2007 wildfires in California, county emergency officials drew on relationships and communications links they had established during their years of planning for nuclear-related events.
Fact sheet on emergency preparedness
Emergency planning zones fact sheet
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Backgrounder on Emergency Preparedness at Nuclear Power Plants
Emergency Planning and Coordination at Nuclear Energy Plants
Watch NEI's easy-to-understand video tutorial below on emergency planning near nuclear plants and how the U.S. nuclear industry coordinates with state and local officials to ensure the safety of the public. (
Select "Full screen" at the bottom right of the video to see an enlarged version of the video.)
To see this video and other video tutorials on nuclear energy topics, visit
NEI's YouTube channel
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Health Physics Society
US-CERT: United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team
US-CERT Control Systems Security Program
Emergency Planning: Protecting the Public and Environment
Click here for an enlarged graphic (JPG).
Copyright 2013 Nuclear Energy Institute
Nuclear Energy Institute
1201 F St., NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20004-1218
E-mail link to a friend
Send to friend
Email Addresses separated by comma:
Please enter e-mail address.
Your message (click here):
Please enter some message text.
<br/>You might be interested in this item I found on the NEI website:<br/>