United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Criteria for Development of Evacuation Time Estimate Studies (NUREG/CR-7002, SAND2010-0016P)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: September 2011
Date Published: November 2011

Prepared by:
J. Jones and F. Walton
Sandia National Laboratories

B. Wolshon
Louisiana State University

Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, NM 87185
Operated by
Sandia Corporation
for the U.S. Department of Energy

J. Laughlin, NRC Technical Lead

NRC Job Code R-3139

Prepared for:
Division of Preparedness and Response
Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

Availability Notice


The evacuation time estimate (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 (16 km) around a nuclear power plant. The ETE is primarily used to inform protective action decision-making and may also be used to assist in development of traffic management plans to support an evacuation. The ETE should be developed to provide the time to evacuate 90 percent and 100 percent of the total population of the EPZ. The 90 percent ETE provides the time value that would typically be used to support protective action decisions. This document provides guidance for the development of ETEs, including those associated with staged evacuation protective actions. The document also identifies the importance of using approved emergency response plans and existing traffic control information to reflect the expected response actions during an emergency. Guidance on the review and update of ETEs is also included. The format and guidance provided herein will support consistent application of the ETE methodology, and can serve as a template for the development of ETE studies. Applicants and licensees may propose an alternative method for complying with the associated relevant portions of the emergency preparedness regulations, which the NRC would need to deem acceptable if they provide the basis for the findings required for the issuance or continuance of a permit or license by the Commission.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, May 21, 2012