Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Managing nuclear power plant induced disasters

Dean Kyne, PhD, MPA, MPS


Objective: To understand the management process of nuclear power plant (NPP) induced disasters. The study shields light on phases and issues associated with the NPP induced disaster management. Setting: This study uses Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station as study subject and Arizona State as study area.

Design: This study uses the Radiological Assessment System for Consequence Analysis (RASCAL) Source Term to Dose (STDose) of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a computer software to project and assess the source term dose and release pathway. This study also uses ArcGIS, a geographic information system to analyze geospatial data. A detailed case study of Palo Verde Nuclear Power Generation (PVNPG) Plant was conducted.

Results: The findings reveal that the NPP induced disaster management process is conducted by various stakeholders. To save lives and to minimize the impacts, it is vital to relate planning and process of the disaster management.

Conclusions: Number of people who expose to the radioactive plume pathway and level of radioactivity could vary depending on the speed and direction of wind on the day the event takes place. This study findings show that there is a need to address the burning issue of different racial and ethnic groups’ unequal exposure and unequal protection to potential risks associated with the NPPs.


nuclear power plant, potential nuclear power risks, disaster management, radioactive plume path dispersion

Full Text:



Perrow C: Normal Accidents Living with High-Risk Technologies: With a New Afterword and a Postscript on the Y2K Problem. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999.

Moe TL, Pathranarakul P: An integrated approach to natural disaster management. Disaster Prev Manag. 2006; 15(3): 396-413.

Alltucker K: Palo Verde's Costly Slump: Customers May Pay For Nuke Plant's Struggles. AZ Central News. February 12, 2006.

RASCAL 4.3: Radiological Assessment Systems for Consequence Analysis [Computer Program]. Washington, DC: Reactor and Nuclear Systems Division (RNSD), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Radiation Safety Information Computational Center (RSICC), 2013.

Mckenna TJ, Glitter JG: Source Term Estimation During Incident Response to Severe Nuclear Power Plant Accidents. Office for Analysis and Evaluation of Operational Data. January 10, 1988. Report No. NUREG-1228. Washington, DC: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

ICRP: Recommendations of the ICRP. ICRP Publication 26. Ann ICRP. 1977; 1(3).

US NRC: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 2011. US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. July 12, 2011.

US NRC: Emergency Preparedness at Nuclear Power Plants. Washington, DC: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2011.

US FEMA: Communicating During and After a Nuclear Power Plant Incident. Washington, DC: US Department of Homeland Security, June 1, 2013.

Kutner K: 2010 Annual Radioactive Effluent Release Report. Phoenix, AZ: Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, 2010.

US NRC: RASCAL 4.3 Workbook. Washington, DC: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, July 1, 2013.

US EPA: Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective Action for Nuclear Incidents. Washington, DC: Office of Radiations Program, United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1992.

Maricopa County Emergency Management: Nuclear Plant to Sound Emergency Sirens: Annual Test Part of Federal Requirements. Phoenix: Maricopa County Emergency Management, 2013.

ARRA: Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency, 2013.

Perry RW, Lindell MK: Preparedness for Emergency Response: Guidelines for the Emergency Planning Process. Disasters. 2003; 27(4): 336-350.

Choi SO: Emergency management: Implications from a strategic management perspective. J Homeland Secur Emerg Manag. 2008; 5(1).

Randazzo R: Palo Verde Nuclear Plant Leak Could Cost $10M to $15M to Fix. Phoenix: Azcentral.Com, October 15, 2013.

The Associated Press: Palo Verde Unit Cuts Power for Valve Problem. Contra Costa Times. November 7, 2013.

Lochbaum D: The NRC and Nuclear Power Plant Safety in 2012: Tolerating the Intolerable. Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists: Citizens and Scientists for Environmental Solutions, January 3, 2012.

US FEMA: Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station After Action Report/Improvement Plan. Washington, DC: Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) Program, US FEMA, 2011.

Watkins SM, Perrotta DM, Stanbury M, et al.: State-level emergency preparedness and response capabilities. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2011; 5: S134-S142.

US FEMA: Nuclear Power Plant Emergencies. Washington, DC: US FEMA, 2011.

Goans RE: Nuclear Power, Devices, And Accidents—Nuclear Accidents. Washington, DC: Health Physics Society, 2015.

US NRC: RASCAL: Radiological Assessment System for Consequence Analysis. US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2013.

Brandon L: RASCAL Class Training July 11 and 12. White Flint, MD: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2013.

Ramsdell JVJR, Athey GF, Rishel JP: RASCAL 4.3 User's Guide (Draft). US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, October 1, 2013.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 Journal of Emergency Management
This site uses cookies to maintain session information critical to the user's experience and environment on this system. Click "Accept Cookies" to continue.
For more details please visit our privacy statement at: Privacy & GDPR