Nuclear Power and Emergency Management

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1 Nuclear Power and Emergency Management A nightmare scenario for emergency management agencies is communicating with and protecting the public during a catastrophic failure at a nearby nuclear reactor. The US nuclear regulatory commission licenses reactors to operate for 40 years, and the average age of the 104 active nuclear reactors in the US is now almost 33 years. Here is a map of the locations of the 104 active US nuclear reactors as well as 20 decommissioned reactors. The oldest operating reactors are Oyster Creek in New Jersey, and Nine Mile Point 1 in New York. Both entered commercial service on December 1, Both are about 44 years old. The last newly built reactor to enter service was Watts Bar 1 in Tennessee, in Prior to termination of the original 40-year license, companies may apply to the NRC for 20-year license extensions. Oyster Creek's operating license is now scheduled to expire on April 9, 2029, when it will be 60 years old. A future severe nuclear accident at a U.S. nuclear power plant is a real possibility. In 2011 five nuclear power plants in the United States lost primary power due to earthquake or extreme weather events, including tornados, hurricanes, and flooding. Fortunately backup power systems kicked in at these

2 plants and a disaster was averted. But weather is not the only risk factor. Other risk factors include: Type of reactor There are two types of reactors operating it the United States: Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) and Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs). Some experts judge that the design and structure of BWRs do not protect against the release of radiation during a severe accident as effectively as PWRs. The four reactors involved in the Fukushima nuclear crisis were BWRs. On the map, NRDC experts assigned a red flag to a reactor if it is a BWR. Age of reactor Reactors were designed to operate for 40 years, yet the regulatory body that oversees nuclear safety in the United States, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has re-licensed some nuclear power plants to operate for 60 years, well beyond their originally engineered design lifetime. On the map, NRDC experts assigned a red flag to a reactor if the NRC has approved the reactor to operate for 60 years. Power level of reactor The NRC has approved many utility operators to increase the operating power of their nuclear reactors, including for Fukushima-type reactors, and in some cases multiple times and to significantly higher power levels. These so-called "power uprates" push reactors beyond what they were originally engineered to do, and could increase the radiation hazard if a nuclear accident occurred. On the map, NRDC experts assigned a red flag if the NRC has granted a reactor a power uprate. If a person received one rad of radiation from a nuclear accident, it would increase one's chance of getting cancer by 1 in 1,000 (averaged over all ages and both sexes). The NRC believes that the chances of a severe accident with fallout in a core meltdown for any one of the 104 U.S. nuclear reactors is small (probability of less than 1 in 10,000 per year). If this is correct, it means that we have 104 chances out of 10,000, or just over a 1% chance in a US nuclear facility in any given year. However the risks inevitably do increase with older reactors. More than 120 million Americans living within 50 miles of a U.S. nuclear power plant the distance the U.S. government told Americans to evacuate from the area around the Fukushima plant. No one knows how safe America's nuclear reactors really are as they age, but they certainly don't get safer with age. The topic of safety is noteworthy because

3 there have been two recent stories in the New York Times regarding dangers to the public from two different nuclear reactors. On June 8th, the New York Times reported that the San Onofre reactors owned by Southern California Edison in California will be closed permanently. These reactors had been temporarily closed in January 2012 when radioactive steam escaped into the atmosphere as a result of vibration and friction in piping. A second story appeared in the June 10th New York Times regarding the reactors owned by Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) at Fukushima Japan. Tepco now admits that it has found cesium particles in ground water flowing into Fukushima Daiichi plant, reversing its assertion that the water was uncontaminated. Though past problems have been infrequent, when disasters do happen we remember these nuclear reactor disasters for decades. The names; Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima will live forever in our memories. Your nightmare, as an emergency management professional, is that the reactor near you becomes tomorrow's world news. As with many disasters, damage can be mitigated with better communications with the public. We all know that the current system for warning the public about a crisis at a nuclear reactor is completely inadequate. That system, as you know, consists of sirens going out to a radius of ten miles from the reactor. And as you know, sirens are inadequate for two reasons; 1) A siren is a "one bit" piece of information. It is either "on" or it's "off". And it tells the public nothing about the nature of the danger, or what they should do to protect themselves. And 2) Ten miles isn't nearly enough distance for warning the public. Even one hundred miles may not be enough. Our nation is so dependent on nuclear energy that more and more nuclear reactors will have their operating licenses extended in the coming years. As the risks of ever aging reactors cannot be precisely measured, the best we may be able to do to protect the public might be better communication when there is a problem. Ping4alerts! is the current state of the art in emergency communications. Picture this scenario: the Indian Point nuclear facility in Buchanan, New York suffers a catastrophic meltdown like the plant at Fukushima. While the sirens alert those in a 10 mile radius that something has happened, tens of millions of people live within the 100 mile radius that may experience severe radioactive fallout. Take a look at this map:

4 The large circle represents a 100 mile radius drawn around the Indian Point nuclear facility. The smaller circles have a radius of 50, 25, and 10 miles. Everyone in this area could be seriously affected by a meltdown at the plant with just minutes to alert over 17 million people, how can an emergency management professional best inform these communities? Here's our solution: we've labeled each region of the map with a number and a letter (for example, F3, F4, G3, and G4 all cover New York City). With ping4alerts!, you can preprogram alerts containing evacuation instructions, information about speed and direction of the fallout plume, and links to further information for each region. That way, when seconds count, you can get the right message to the right people, right away. Ping4alerts! offers rich multimedia information about precisely what is happening at the reactor. These ping4alerts! can cover any relevant area, even beyond 100 miles. The emergency alert can provide pictures, audio, and video when appropriate, and the authorities can provide highly localized specific instructions about the best ways that people can protect themselves, based upon exactly where they are. Emergency management agencies do not need to know anything about those receiving these alerts. The alerts are anonymous in both directions. Smart phone users give up no information about themselves, and the emergency agencies need no information about those receiving the alert information. This is a perfect solution for reaching visitors from other parts of the country or the world. If your phone is in a dangerous place, you can be immediately informed of the danger, along with what you should do. Ping4alerts! is the revolutionary mobile communications solution for alerting citizens to dangers and emergencies wherever they are in the world. Through our patent-pending technology, ping4alerts! enables law enforcement and public safety agencies to send highly targeted, multimedia alerts to mobile devices

5 instantly notifying citizens of dangers and emergencies happening at the exact moment and in the very location they happen to be. By leveraging the location-based features of smart mobile devices through a technology called geo-fencing, public safety agencies can use ping4alerts! to define a specific area and broadcast alerts anywhere in their jurisdiction. It s as simple as drawing a box on a map. Any ping4alerts! user within or entering that defined location will receive your alert with instructions to keep your citizens informed and protected. For more information about this or other topics, or a demonstration of the ping4alerts! solution, please visit us on the web.

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