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Fixed Nuclear Facility Program - Back

TEMA's Fixed Nuclear Facility (FNF) section is contracted by the Tennessee Valley Authority to provide a comprehensive offsite response program in the event of a radiological incident at either of Tennessee's two nuclear power plants.

The FNF section of TEMA Technical Hazards Branch does this by coordinating federal, state, and local responders, providing yearly training to those responders, managing evacuation routes, shelters, monthly notification siren tests, annual plan updates, and holding training exercises and drills multiple times each year.

The plan that guides all aspects of the offsite response is entitled the Tennessee Multi-Jurisdictional Radiological Emergency Response Plan (MJREP). TEMA created an individual plan for both plants, both Sequoyah and Watts Bar. These plans are based upon actions taken in the event of an actual emergency at the plant.

To ensure that each level of government can understands their roles, and can successfully protect the citizens of this state, each plant's plan is exercised yearly. In addition to the two state level exercises, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) test our response yearly in a graded exercise. The federal exercise rotates each year so that each plant gets tested every other year.

It is important to note that the Sequoyah MJREP and the Watts Bar MJREP do not replace the Tennessee Emergency Response Plan (TEMP) but work in coordination with it. This is because Tennessee takes an All-Hazards approach to emergency planning, and the MJREP covers the specific technical aspects of radiological response while the TEMP provides overall command and control.

Plan Overview

The area surrounding a nuclear power plant falls into one of two zones used for emergency planning:

Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ)

  • Extends 10 miles from the nuclear power plant
  • Exposure through direct contact with or inhalation of radioactive particles released in a plume

Ingestion Pathway Zone (IPZ)

  • Extends 50 miles from the nuclear power plant
  • Exposure through consumption of contaminated agricultural and dairy products

The counties surrounding a nuclear power plant also fall into one of three categories used for emergency planning:

Risk County

  • Applies to all counties within 10 miles of the nuclear power plant
  • Shelter or evacuation orders are likely

Host County

  • Applies to counties outside of the 10 mile EPZ that have been designated to provide shelter for risk county evacuees

Ingestion County

  • Applies to all counties, including host counties, outside the 10 mile EPZ but within the 50 mile IPZ
  • Agricultural embargoes likely to prevent the consumption of contaminated agricultural and dairy products

If you have any questions, comments, or other recommendations concerning the MJREP, you contact the TEMA Fixed Nuclear Facilities Program at 1-615-741-0001 or via e-mail. NOTE: Because of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, TEMA has decided not to post the content of these plans on the agency's web site. If you need to review a copy of the documents, please contact your local emergency management office or the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency's FNF Planning Section Chief at 615-741-0001.