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Emergency Preparedness--Nuclear 911 Campaign


Are you in the evacuation zone of a nuclear reactor? Should you be? Find out here with this interactive map from Physicians for Social Responsibility.

April 30, 2014. NRC cannot provide documentation of its claim in denying NIRS EPZ petition that "majority" of emergency exercises include natural disaster as initiating or concurrent event. Emergency workers remain ill-trained to respond to nuclear accident and natural disaster. E-mail exchange between NIRS and NRC available here. (pdf) Press release.

April 9, 2014 "The NRC has failed the American people." NRC denies petition from NIRS, 37 co-petitioners for modest improvements in emergency planning regulations. Press release. Link to NRC decision.

August 22, 2013. Letter from Sens. Markey and Warren to Entergy CEO warns of false assumptions in Pilgrim reactor emergency evacuation plans (which would apply to just about all reactors) and urges major changes.

August 5, 2013. Pittsburgh City Council passes proclamation in support of NIRS Petition for Rulemaking on emergency planning. (pdf)

May 6, 2013. Rep. Engel (D-NY) introduces HR 1700, a bill that would expand emergency planning zones to 50 miles, put one agency in charge of emergency planning for nuclear accidents.

April 10, 2013. GAO report agrees with NIRS, finds that NRC does not understand and regulations do not account for likelihood of large shadow evacuations in real accident situation.PDF NIRS press release on report and comment on big issue GAO missed.

September 13, 2012. Statement of Michael Mariotte, NIRS Executive Director, at NRC scoping meeting on emergency planning on need to expand EPZs, not be fooled by computer accident simulations, and public's expectations of protection from radiation exposure. Statement of Dominique French, NIRS Campaigner, at same NRC meeting, on lessons from Fukushima & Chernobyl.

May 27, 2012: South Miami, Florida becomes first city to pass resolution in support of NIRS petition to expand emergency planning zones. Ask your city to become the next one.

March 22, 2012: Sample resolution for local governments to support expansion of Emergency Planning Zones. This is a tool you can use: Take the resolution to your local county/city/town councils and seek passage of it (and then let us know that it has passed).

March 22, 2012: A sheet with some citations to support the statements made in the sample resolution.

March 8, 2012: Press release. American Nuclear Society is right on need to improve emergency planning; wrong on solutions.

February 15, 2012: Take Action! Join the Petition to NRC to expand nuclear evacuation zones!

February 15, 2012: NIRS Petition for Rulemaking to NRC to expand emergency evacuation zones and improve emergency preparedness around U.S. nuclear reactors. With 37 initial co-petitioners from across the United States.

February 15, 2012: Press release announcing submission of Petition for Rulemaking to NRC with quotes from NIRS & grassroots groups.

February 15, 2012: Fact Sheet: Emergency Planning for Nuclear Disasters.

February 15, 2012: Briefing Paper on Emergency Preparedness at U.S. Nuclear Reactors. 10 pages.

Some media reports on Nuclear 911 emergency planning campaign:

New Jersey: (includes an online poll on the petition)

New York:




Allison Fisher of Public Citizen wrote a great blog post:

Past documents on emergency preparedness and evacuation issues:

After rejecting a NIRS petition demanding emergency back-up power for sirens within 10-mile emergency planning zones around reactors, the NRC orders Indian Point to install exactly that, due to legislation sponsored by Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) that affects only the Indian Point site. PDF January 31, 2006

July 12, 2005 NRC letter in response to NIRS request for reconsideration and reversal of the agency’s denial of an emergency enforcement petition requesting backup power to public notification sirens.  In the meantime, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton introduces legislation in US Senate to require backup power to emergency notification systems. PDF

In the Event That a Nuclear Meltdown Coincides with Electric Grid Failure, Siren Systems Won't Work In Emergency Planning Zones for 28 U.S. Reactor Sites. NIRS press release. May 25, 2005.

On May 20, 2005, NRC dismisses NIRS petition to provide emergency backup power to sirens that will fail in the event of main power line failure simultaneously occurring with a nuclear accident or act of terrorism PDF 75.47KB

Official NRC transcript of the April 05, 2005 Petition Review Board meeting with petitioners for backup power for emergency notification systems around nuclear power stations PDF 127.5KB

NRC Denies Public Petition For Battery Back Up Power to Emergency Sirens: Nuclear Accident Notification Systems Broadly Vulnerable to Grid Power Failures. NIRS/PC press release. May 20, 2005.

When the electrical grid fails due to adverse weather or mechanical failure all too often emergency notification systems around nuclear power stations simultaneously lose all power. Electrical grid failure is potentially an initiating event for a nuclear accident and most probably the opening of an attack by terrorists on a nuke. On February 23, 2005 NIRS in coalition with 16 organizations and several county governments petitioned the NRC to take emergency enforcement action to require nuclear power station operators to provide emergency backup power sources, preferably through photovoltaic panels, for emergency notification siren systems nationwide. PDF 34.27KB

NIRS’ December 13, 2004 comments in response to U.S. Health and Human Service’s issuance of inadequate draft federal guidelines dated November 08, 2004 for distributing potassium iodide (KI) as a thyroid blocking agent in the event of a nuclear accident or an act of radiological sabotage. PDF 34.98KB

U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) draft guidelines for Section 127 of the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 outlining a federal strategy for the distribution of potassium iodide (KI) issued November 08, 2004 for limited comment. PDF

Nuclear Monitor (March 2004) Special Edition article on the issues of emergency planning following the Three Mile Island accident on March 28, 1979. PDF

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s accident classification system.

James Lee Witt Associates 2003 report commissioned by the State of New York which is critical of emergency planning around the Indian Point nuclear power station near New York City and located amidst the most densely populated zone of the United States.  Many aspects addressed in the Witt report are applicable to nuclear power station emergency planning zones across the United States. PDF

James Lee Witt Associates 2003 report Appendices A-L PDF

James Lee Witt Associates 2003 report Appendix K PDF

NIRS Fact Sheet: What You Should Know About Potassium Iodide and Atomic Fallout

Emergency Planning for Nuclear Power Accidents, July 13, 2001

NIRS' comments on potassium iodide distribution, August 1999