United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Request for Information Regarding Evacuation Times (Generic Letter 80-60)



GL80060 

                               UNITED STATES 
                       NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 
                          WASHINGTON, D. C. 20555 

                                             July 2, 1980 

ALL APPLICANTS FOR CONSTRUCTION PERMITS AND OPERATING LICENSES 

Gentlemen: 

SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR INFORMATION REGARDING EVACUATION TIMES 

This letter is being sent to all applicants for construction permits and 
licensees of plants under construction. The purpose of the letter is a 
request for information regarding estimates for evacuation of various areas 
around proposed nuclear power plants. The information sought is described in
our letter of December 26, 1979 (copy enclosed). The requested submittal 
date for this information was suspended by our letter of March 11, 1980 

We are requesting that you submit evacuation time estimates on an 
accelerated basis to enable the NRC staff to identify, in a timely manner, 
those sites where evacuation constraints exist and special planning measures 
should be considered. In some cases of extreme difficulty where a large 
population is at risk, special facility modifications may also be 
appropriate. The information requested in the enclosure should be submitted 
by August 1, 1980. This time is shorter than provided in the December 26, 
1979 letter because of the need for timely information and because the 
content of the information desired has been available to you for some 
months. Units sharing the same site need not, of course, submit separate 
time estimates. 

This special request for information has been submitted to the General 
Accounting Office and cleared by GAO as noted in the clearance block below: 

                              Approved by GAO 
                              B-180225 (S80010) 
                              Expires 80-09-30 

                                        Sincerely, 


                                        Darrell G. Eisenhut, Director 
                                        Division of Licensing 
                                        Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Enclosure:
December 26, 1979 Letter 
  w/Request for Evacuation 
  Time Estimates 

cc: Service Lists
.

                                                                 Enclosure 

                                REQUEST FOR
              EVACUATION TIME ESTIMATES (AFTER NOTIFICATION) 
                    FOR AREAS NEAR NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS 

Background 

Prior to recent NRC requests that means for prompt notification to the 
public be installed around each nuclear power plant site, a significant 
component of evacuation time estimates was the time required to notify the 
public of a need for evacuation. Studies of actual evacuations that have 
taken place generally do not distinguish between the time required for 
notification, the time required to implement the evacuation, and the time 
required to confirm that an evacuation has taken place. 1/  The estimates 
for time required for evacuations now requested relate primarily to the time 
to implement an evacuation as opposed to the time required for notification. 
These estimates may be based on previous local experiences (e.g., chemical 
spills or floods) or may be based on studies related to population density, 
local geography and road capacities. No standard method for making such 
estimates is identified for use at this time. The basis for the method 
chosen should be described in the response. As a check on the evacuation 
time estimates, comments on the time estimates made should be obtained from 
the principal local officials responsible for carrying out such evacuations. 
Such comments should be included in the submittal. 

The format given below is appropriate for reporting to the NRC estimates of 
the time required to implement evacuation of areas near nuclear power 
plants. These estimates are to be made for the primary purpose of making 
available, to those officials who would make evacuation decisions in an 
emergency situation, knowledge of the time required to complete one of the 
protective action options (evacuation) available for a particular 
potentially affected segment of the population. A second purpose of these 
estimates is to identify to all concerned those instances in which unusual 
evacuation constraints exist and that special planning measures should be 
considered. In some cases of extreme difficulty where a large population is 
at risk, special facility modifications may also be considered. 

Given a decision to evacuate rather than shelter in an actual event, fewer 
or more sectors or different distances than given in the reporting format 
might be evacuated should this be the chosen protective action. For example,
three 22-1/2* sectors might be initially evacuated in a downwind direction 
(the sector containing the plume and an adjacent sector on each side), 
followed by the evacuation of other sectors as a precautionary measure. 


1/ Hans, J. M., Jr., and T. C. Sell, 1974 Evacuation Risks - An Evaluation, 
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Environmental Research 
Center, Las Vegas, EPA-52O/6-74-002. 
.

                                  - 2 -

Format for Reporting Information 

The areas for which evacuation estimates are required must encompass the 
entire area within a circle of about 10 miles radius, and have outer 
boundaries corresponding to the plume exposure EPZ. These areas are as 
follows: 

               Distance                           Area 

               2 miles                       two 180 sectors 

               5 miles                       four 90 sectors 

               about 10 miles                four 90 sectors 

Estimates for the outer sectors should assume that the inner adjacent 
sectors are being evacuated simultaneously. To the exent practical, the 
sector boundaries should not divide densely populated areas. Where a 
direction corresponding to the edges of areas for which estimates have been 
made is thought not to be adequately represented by the time estimates for 
adjacent areas, an additional area should be defined and a separate estimate 
made for this case. The format for submittal should include both a table and 
a figure (overlaid on a map) which each give the information requested in 
items 1 and 2 below. Additional material may be provided in associated text.

Required Information 

1.   Two estimates are requested in each of the areas defined in item 1 for 
     a general evacuation of the population (not including special 
     facilities). A best estimate is required and an adverse weather 
     estimate is required for movement of the population. 

2.   The total time required to evacuate special facilities (e.g., 
     hospitals) within each area must be specified (best estimate and 
     adverse weather). 

3.   The time required for confirmation of evacuation should be indicated. 
     Confirmation times may consider special instructions to the Public 
     (e.g., tying a hankerchief to a door or gate to indicate the occupant 
     has left the premises). 

4.   Where plans and prompt notification systems have not been put in place 
     for areas out to about 10 miles, estimates of the times required to 
     evacuate until such measures are in place for the plume exposure 
     emergency planning zone (EPZ) should also be given. Notification times 
     greater than 15 minutes should be included in the evacuation times and 
     footnoted to indicate the notification time. 
.

                                  - 3 -

5.   Where special evacuation problems are identified (e.g., in high 
     population density areas), specify alternative protective actions, such
     as sheltering, which would reduce exposures and the effectiveness of 
     these measures. 

6.   A short background document should be submitted giving the methods used
     to make the estimates and the assumptions made including the routes and
     methods of transportation used. This document should also note the 
     comments of principal local officials regarding these estimates. 

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