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Emergency Preparedness in the 10-Mile Emergency Planning Zone Surrounding Nuclear Power Plants

Amesh A. Adalja, Tara Kirk Sell, Sanjana J. Ravi, Katie Minton, Ryan Morhard
Date posted:
December 08, 2014
Publication type:

Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management 2015;12(1):81-100

Walter de Gruyter
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Half of the US population lives in close proximity to the nation’s 65 nuclear power plants. The safety of the communities living in the Emergency Planning Zones (EPZs) encircling these nuclear power plants has long been the subject of debate. For example, the size of an EPZ and the scope of emergency planning around nuclear power plants are challenged (Thomas et al. 2011; Government Accountability Office 2013). This debate intensified after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima stressed the framework for nuclear disaster response, leading some to recommend an evaluation of planning in the US (UPMC Center for Health Security 2012; U.S. Nuclear Agency 2013).

We conducted a novel investigation of community-level preparedness activities within 10-mile EPZs, the primary outcome of which was extensive documentation of the opinions of county-level  emergency  preparedness officials regarding issues of public health as they relate to radiological emergency preparedness. A secondary outcome was to identify principles of best practice – via the synthesis of our research findings – to inform future efforts in public health preparedness for communities located in the vicinity of nuclear power plants and beyond.



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