Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste CIKR Sector:  Case Study of the Nuclear Accident at Three Mile Island
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Like this? Share it with your network


Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste CIKR Sector: Case Study of the Nuclear Accident at Three Mile Island






Total Views
Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



0 Embeds 0

No embeds



Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft Word

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste CIKR Sector: Case Study of the Nuclear Accident at Three Mile Island Document Transcript

  • 1. Running Head: NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources Sector: Case Study of the Nuclear Accident at Three Mile Island Lindsey Landolfi Towson University Critical National Infrastructures, IHSM 611-001 Professor William J. Lahneman, PhD November 2011
  • 2. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 2 It is necessary to protect the Nuclear Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR)from manmade and natural disasters in order to preserve the American lifestyle. A major nuclearmeltdown or detonation would severely compromise CIKR in the area surrounding the accident.The immediate damage resulting from the impact would obliterate CIKR at the incidenthypocenter; the destruction radius will be proportionate to the yield of the explosion. It is alsoimportant to consider the secondary effects of a nuclear accident on CIKR. For example, thenegative affects of intense electromagnetic pulse (EMP) on electronic communication devices.EMP can interrupt satellite based communication systems or potentially damage the electricalpower grid. Lack of communications will drastically hinder incident planning and response,confusion due to miscommunication can prove dangerous to the handling of an emergencymanagement situation. Thermal radiation could spark fires; if uncontrolled a firestorm candestroy CIKR such as gasoline lines and fuel tanks. Other CIKR sectors would also be afflictedby a nuclear disaster for example, structural damage to buildings, roads, and concrete. The Latentradiation or fall-out will cause further detriment such as the short and long term effects ofradioactive pollution on public health safety. The radiological release on the environment maycause terrain irregularities such as the destruction of agricultural land, livestock, aquatic life andthe contamination of flora and fauna. The environmental damage will hinder the associated aquaand agriculture economy. The risk of radiation leakage is a part of the nature of nuclear power plant facilities. “Theprimary danger from nuclear power stations is the potential for the release of is the release ofradioactive materials produced in the reactor core as a result of fission.” (U.S. PresidentsCommission, 1979, p.88) In Pennsylvania USA, 1979 a nuclear partial core meltdown occurredat Metropolitan Edison‟s and General Public Utilities‟ Three Mile Island commercial nuclear Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 3. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 3power plant. The core reactor of the Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI‑2) overheated as a result of aseries of mechanical or electrical failure caused by the combination of equipment malfunctionsand operator confusion and error. The TMI accident spanned across five days and resulted in lowlevels of radiological release. The accident “was the most serious in U.S. commercial nuclearpower plant operating history.” (U.S. NRC, 2011) The Three Mile Island accident ranked at levelfive in the seven levels International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) for prompt communication ofsafety significance. The International Atomic Energy Agency‟s (IAEA) INES provides a generalscale for accident and incident description, facilitating standardized communications andcorresponding incident interpretations. A level five accident signifies an accident with off-siterisk for wider consequences. The TMI accident after-math included heath and environmentalrepercussions, enhancements to U.S. nuclear policy and emergency preparedness, and increasedcoordination efforts within the nuclear sector. TMI nuclear facilities used a pressurized water reactor (PWR) type to generateelectricity. All commercial U.S. PWRs use uranium based fission process to produce heat; thisheat is then converted into electric power using steam. “At TMI-2, the reactor core holds some100 tons of uranium.” (U.S. Presidents Commission, 1979, p.87) Failures within the coolantsystem can cause overheating; excessive water evaporation may expose the reactor core. Anexposed core is highly dangerous as it may overheat and damage the fuel rods and pelletscausing the release of radioactive materials. Nuclear plants are designed with three main safetyprotection features to prevent radiation leakage. First is the fuel rod core assembly; the fuel rodsabsorb radioactive materials produced from the uranium fuel pellets. Second feature is thereactor vessel constructed of steal which creates a hermetic seal around the reactor core.Contained within the reactor vessel are the closed reactor coolant system loop and the control Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 4. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 4rods. The third basic safety barrier is the containment building; according to the Final SafetyAnalysis Report for TMI-2 the containment building was “a 193-foot high, reinforced-concretestructure with walls 4 feet thick.” (U.S. Presidents Commission, 1979, p. 90) Nuclear facilitieshave a variety of safety systems and back-up systems designed to protect against general systemfailure. “The Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) automatically uses existing plantequipment to ensure that cooling water covers the core.” (U.S. Presidents Commission, 1979,p.93) TMI-2 suffered a loss of coolant accident (LOCA) resulting in major damages to thereactor and fuel. Water supply pumps for the steam generator in TMI-2‟s rector malfunctionedresulting in loss of vital cooling water. The excessive heat caused the pressurizer level to risetriggering the pilot-operated relief valve (PORV) to open. According to a reading in the controlroom electric power to the PORV was shut off, operators assumed that the PORV had properlyre-closed and the core was being cooled. “But the PORV was stuck open, and would remainopen for 2 hours and 22 minutes, draining needed coolant water -- a LOCA was in progress”(U.S. Presidents Commission, 1979, p.95), the reactor core was overheating. A design errorinvolving an inverse response from the pressurizer level indicator lead the control roomoperators to believe that PRW volume was too high. In response, operators reduced the flowcoolant to a minimum by shutting down the emergency High Pressure Injection (HPI) pumps ofTMI-2‟s ECCS. This precautionary measure, in fact, further reduced cooling lowering waterlevels and possibly exposing the core. The reactor core and internal vessel temperaturescontinued to escalate causing an automatically scram. A reactor scram or trip is a term used bythe nuclear industry to describe the emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor. Scram is produced Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 5. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 5by the immediate release of all control rods into the reactor core which stops the chain reactionfission process. Summarized in the paragraphs below is the chronology of the LOCA in accordance to theNRC report and Governor R. Thornburgh reflections of the TMI accident. The TMI crisis beganearly morning Wednesday, March 28, 1979 when control systems alerts indicatedmalfunctioning. Control room operators performed designated procedures in response to thesystems warning signals. Workers reported the unusual system activities and took precautionarymeasures in attempt to resume normal reactor functionality; situational confusion persistedthroughout the emergency response procedures. When it became clear to TMI employees that ageneral emergency had occurred at the site the TMI Director of Emergency Managementreported to the accident to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) whoinformed local and state government. “The NRC‟s regional office in King of Prussia, Pa., wasnotified at 7:45 a.m. on March 28.” (U.S. NRC, 2011) NRC headquarters were alerted of thescram and by approximately 8:00 am NRC Operations Center was activated. Information on theaccident was first relayed to the public via a local radio report. Upon official release of the TMIaccident the Associated Press filed a national news story on the catastrophe. Approved emergency radiation exposure rate calculations indicated contaminationleakage at the site. However, on Thursday Met. Ed. and G.P. Utilities were assuring the publicthat the incident was well managed and that public was safe. Skepticism of the utilitiescredibility and the potential danger involved with nuclear accidents lead to official intervention.The TMI crisis became the responsibility of the local governance. Governor R. Thornburghcreated an ad-hoc bureaucracy to address the accident. Official authorities instructed the localresidential areas to remain indoors and turn off ventilation systems. Meanwhile in Washington Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 6. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 6DC, congressional committees consulted with the NRC about the accident. That night Met. Ed.and G.P. Utilities held their first official public press conference on the accident. Early morning day three, children attended school as usual, there still no mandatorypublic precautionary safety measures in place. At the TMI-2 facility controls indicated a pressurebuild-up; in response shift operators opened the release value to vent steam and the containedradioactive materials into the atmosphere. The PORV release was conducted with no priorauthorization and employees did not report venting activities until after the fact. The lack ofcommunication would facilitate information misinterpretation and negatively effect vitaldecisions dependent on that information. Radiation readings reported from a helicopter over TMIthat morning “indicated a very high radiation exposure rate – 1200 millirems per hour – a ratecertainly high enough to warrant an evacuation.” (Thornburgh, 1999, p.4) The radiationmeasurements were reported to the NRC management team who then issued a five mile generalevacuation recommendation to Pennsylvania‟s Emergency Management Director. Thisinformation was relayed to the local civil defense director and then to the public via local radio.Additionally, at 9:30 A.M. an emergency siren at TMI was mysterious tripped. Prompted byNRC recommendations, sensationalized media reports, and the fear of radiation exposurevoluntary evacuations coupled by public hysteria ensued in the residential areas near the TMIfacility. In response state authorities sought federal expertise and assistance. NRC radiationexperts further investigated the situation and announced that the evacuation warning wasmistakenly issued, the public was immediately alerted. Mr. H. Denton, the NRC‟s director ofnuclear reactor regulation, and approximately twelve other NRC experts were sent by PresidentJ. Carter to join the official staff in Pennsylvania. After deliberation with NRC Chairman Mr. J.Hendrie, around noon day three Governor R. Thornburgh advised all “pregnant women and Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 7. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 7preschoolers leave the area within five miles of the plant until further notice, and that all schoolswithin that zone be closed as well.” (Thornburgh, 1999, p.4) A press conference was conductedthat evening with H. Denton providing a credible and trustworthy source to publics in order togain a better understanding of the actual technical situation at TMI. The weekend starting on Saturday March 31st, was associated with the hydrogen bubblescare. During the TMI-2 LOCA hydrogen gases were released by chemical reactions between theexposed reactor core and the remaining coolant water causing pressure to build with in thereactor vessel. NRC officials feared that the pressure may rupture or explode the reactor vessel.These fears manifested in the media reports and public actions. It was later investigated andreported by Mr. H. Denton that there was no imminent source of explosive danger. Immediatepress releases were issued to the media stating that there was no cause for alarm. The public wasalso informed of President J. Cater plans visit TMI with Governor R. Thornburgh; the actions ofthese two prominent officials would pacify public fears. His visit assured public of the safetysecurity at TMI and that the situation was being well managed. The immediate crisis had been resolved, by the fifth day the public was assured byofficials that the TMI-2 accident was managed and their safety secured. A full meltdown wasaverted; the majority of the radiation was contained within the plant. The detectablecontamination released into the external atmosphere caused only negligible amounts of harm topublic heath and the environment, there were no direct fatalities. Ten days following the initialLOCA reports all official precautionary evacuation measures were withdrawn. However, therewas still much to consider in respects to the TMI-2 cleanup operations and the proper disposal ofwaste materials from the nuclear plant. Governor R. Thornburgh initiated the development of anational cost-sharing financial plan to fund the approximated billion-dollar cleanup efforts. Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 8. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 8Funding came from TMI owners Metropolitan Edison and General Public Utilities, the nuclearindustry, state and federal governments. Public issues with decontamination legality and safetylead to safety demonstrations and public hearings. In response, Governor R. Thornburghcontracted the Union of Concerned Scientists to study and develop a safe venting radioactive gasplan. “When that organization concluded that it posed no physical threat to public health andsafety, the venting proceeded peacefully.” (Thornburgh, 1999, p.7) TMI-2 has been permanentlydecommissioned since the LOCA due to the damage incurred, approximately 12 years later TMI-2 clean-up processes were completed and the reactor was officially shutdown and defueled in1993. “NRC issued a possession-only license” (U.S. NRC, 2011) which authorizes the facility topossess specific nuclear materials and prohibits the operation of TMI-2. Immediately after the disaster, President J. Carter ordered the creation of a specialcommission to investigate the TMI accident. The results from this commission were used asevidence in the TMI legal trials. The commission, also known as the Kemeny Report, determinedthat the accident was a result of human and organization error and not due to failure of the large-scale technical systems. The NRC conducted its own study of the TMI-2 LOCA which yieldedresults similar to the Kemeny Report. Complicated organizational structure of the utility andambiguous TMI-2 control room design fostered employee confusion. For instance, engineersmisread equipment in respects to the PORV operations and assumed that emergency processeswere active and that the reactor core was being properly cooled, in fact, it was not. Humanmisinterpretation of the reactor control systems user interface contributed to the severity of theLOCA. Additional contributing factor to human operational misjudgments in the TMI-2 controlroom was the combination of misleading instrument information and a lack of emergency workertraining. An example was that the TMI-2 pressurizer level indicator design used volume and not Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 9. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 9mass as a measure for pressure levels, therefore excessive heat caused by the LOCA createdsteam-pockets at the bottom of the reactor and falsely raised the PRW volume.“The operatorshad been taught to keep the system from "going solid" -- a condition that would make controllingthe pressure within the reactor coolant system more difficult and that might damage the system.”(U.S. Presidents Commission, 1979, p.98) TMI-2 control room operators followed the approvedsafety regulations and protocols to prevent the system from overheating or going solid. However,employee training was not sufficient enough to enable them to quickly recognize system errorsand remedy malfunctions in order to prevent general operational failure. A lack ofcomprehensive and user-friendly safety regulations and protocols also hampered employees‟ability to respond to the confusion regarding the system warning signs. A major contributing factor to the TMI LOCA and public crisis was poor communicationand coordination. A number of private and public agencies at the local, state and federal wereinvolved in incident response planning; delayed, ambiguous, and inconsistent interagencycommunications between involved parties negatively reflected on emergency response. TheKemeny Report indicated that prior to the TMI-2 LOCA similar PORV incidents had beenreported in facilities with PWR type reactors using the same brand of equipment as TMI. If thisinformation was shared by the NRC, the utilities, or the equipment manufacture repairmaintenance could have been performed and the accident prevented. In respects to emergencyoperations, the rapid dissemination of information is vital to response efficiency andeffectiveness. Information on the TMI-2 LOCA was not delivered in a timely manner, “the localNRC office was not manned, and telephone calls were answered by answering machines until8:00 A.M.” (Osif, Baratta, & Contling, 2004, p.26), approximately four hours after the LOCAoccurred. The potential assistance from NRC experts during this timeframe may have resulted in Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 10. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 10a more timely resolution of the LOCA in turn reducing the resulting negative consequences. Alack of communication coordination between the government and the utility was also evident inNRC‟s accidental issuance of a general evacuation. NRC‟s evacuation recommendation wasissued prior to consulting Pennsylvania‟s radiation protection director. Further investigation intothe radiation measurements would have indicated that the reading was faulty due to additionalexternal influences such as the location of the reading and operational activities at the TMI-2reactor. Media coverage and public perception of the accident were influenced by the officialhandling of the LOCA. Comprehensive communications could have prevented unnecessary masspublic panic and confusion. The delay in the dissemination of information regarding the incident from the plantoperator fostered negative speculation and increased public fear. Additionally, the utilityconcealed pertinent information from the public for example, technicians at Met. Ed. and G.P.Utilities were aware that radioactivity levels in areas surrounding the factory were elevated aboutnormal measurements yet this data was not disclosed in their public statements. Another exampleof information deliverance aversion was when Met. Ed. employees vented radioactive steam intothe atmosphere without authorization or alerting the public until after the fact. By down-playingthe magnitude of the incident to the public the utility diminished their credibility with the publicand government. “The utility, its regulators and other groups and institutions appeared to becontradicting each other, or telling the public either less than they knew or more than theyknew.” (Thornburgh, 1999, p.2) Residents experienced situational confusion as a result of thecontradictions between the reassuring official news reports and sensationalized national media.With the lack of credible sources and general information confusion such as the NRC erroredevacuation issuance, it was difficult for the public to evaluate and select which information to Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 11. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 11consume. When people believe that they have been deceived there is a higher probability fornegative speculation. The TMI accident generated massive media coverage. There was high news value ofpublicizing and sensationalizing the TMI-2 LOCA. Media dramatization of the situationexaggerated public fear and rumors of an imminent “China Syndrome” situation. “The ChinaSyndrome” was released in theaters twelve days prior to the TMI accident. “The ChinaSyndrome” dramatized the dangers of nuclear power; the script even described how a nuclearmeltdown could contaminate an area “the size of the state of Pennsylvania.” (Thornburgh, 1999,p.3) The film‟s title was developed from the concept that a molten nuclear reactor core couldmelt the earth penetrating through to the opposite side. In actuality a major nuclear plantmeltdown involves excessive overheating of the reactor core that breaches the physical safetybarriers; when uncontained the radioactive materials would be externally released into theenvironment. Chernobyl, Ukraine 1986 nuclear meltdown, described as a level seven accidentaccording to the INES, is an ideal example of the potential dangers and safety significance of aworst-case scenario nuclear accident. However, at the time the majority of the public wasunaware of the potential dangers involving a nuclear accident. Many people assumed thatmushroom cloud style nuclear explosion would ensue. As explained in the Kemeny report; “anaccident we [the public] cannot see or taste or smell . . .is an accident that is invisible. I think thefact that it is invisible creates a sense of uncertainty and fright that may well go beyond thereality of the accident itself.” (U.S. Presidents Commission, 1979, p.85) The TMI accident created an ideal environment for nuclear opposition to express thegrowing pubic dissent against the use of nuclear power. The TMI-2 accident resulted inincreased and vocalized anti-nuclear sentiments. Anti-Nuclear Power Campaigns peaked Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 12. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 12following the TMI accident; mass demonstrations conveyed the public‟s health safety andenvironmental concerns. Negative public perception of nuclear generated energy hinderedexpansion of the nuclear power industry. “New construction was stopped dead in its tracks andno new plants have been undertaken since 1979.” (Thornburgh, 1999, p.7) The TMI accidentresulted in severe image and monetary ramifications for the nuclear industry as a whole. Majorfederal and commercial contributions from the nuclear industry supported the TMI-2 cleanupoperation. “The cleanup cost nearly a billion dollars, one third of which was passed on to ratepayers, making nuclear power more expensive than other energy options.” (Thornburgh, 1999,p.1) The nuclear industry incurred additional monetary costs in order to be in compliance withnew safety standards established in response to TMI accident. The resolution of the TMI-2accident resulted in large initial investments and long-term monetary consequences for thenuclear industry active after the TMI accident. The TMI-2 LOCA and public relations crisisdamaged the nuclear industry‟s core advertising campaign message of nuclear power as the mostfinancially and environmentally friendly energy option. The radioactive material release at TMI-2 promoted investigations regarding the risk ofthreat of latent radioactivity on public health safety and the surrounding environment. The EPAwas responsible for the initial official nuclear post-monitoring program to document the healthand environmental effects of the radiation released as a result of the TMI-2 LOCA. Met. Ed. andG.P. Utilities in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Health continue to monitor thevicinity for rates radiation disease. Government officials confirmed that statistical evidence ofradiological measurement indicated minimal possibility for negative health consequencescorrelated to the TMI accident. The Kemeny Report concluded “On the basis of present scientificknowledge, the radiation doses received by the general population as a result of exposure to the Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 13. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 13radioactivity released during the accident were so small that there will be no detectableadditional cases of cancer, developmental abnormalities, or genetic ill-health as a consequence ofthe accident at TMI.” (U.S. Presidents Commission, 1979, p.39) Epidemiological studies haveproduced conflicting results. Numerous commercially sponsored scientific studies have revealeda positive correlation between the contamination leakage and radiation-related diseases. Reportsindicated increases of numerous forms of cancer, respiratory illness, and stress related disordersresulting from the long-term psychological effects of the disaster such as heart disease. Forexample, “an annual volume issued by the National Center for Health Statistics, showed that the1978–1979 rate increase in Pennsylvania exceeded the national increase in three crucialcategories: infant deaths, births under 3.3 pounds, and percent of newborns with low Apgarscores.” (Mangano, 2004, p.3) The TMI catastrophe affected more than the local humanpopulation, multiple sources of anecdotal evidence reported disease among the area‟s wildlifeand livestock. The local environment was negatively impacted by soil and ground waterradioactive contamination. Negative biological effects resulted from the external and internalexposure to the radioactive pollution produced from the TMI-2 LOCA. To date there has TMI residential publics have not been able to file a class action lawsuitto address the concerns of Pennsylvania residents in respect to the TMI accident and personalhealth effects. Met. Ed. and G.P. Utilities settled quietly out of court paying out over a milliondollars worth of damages for personal injury and loss claims. “In 1981, citizens groups won aclass-action suit against the Three Mile Island facility, an out-of court settlement of $25 million.”(Greene, 2001, p.178) A portion of this settlement was allocated towards the creation of the TMIPublic Health Fund which is responsible for overseeing research linking negative healthconsequences to the radiation exposure absorbed by publics in the TMI area. In 1983, Met. Ed. Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 14. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 14was indicted by a federal grand jury of criminal charges of falsifying system test results prior tothe TMI-2 LOCA. “The indictment charges the company with five counts of violating provisionsof its license to operate a nuclear power plant, five counts of violating NRC regulations and onecount of violating a federal statue against false statements.” (AP, 1983, p.6) It was determinedthat Met. Ed. and G.P. Utilities did not intentionally withhold or distort public or privateinformation. However, Met. Ed.‟s faced additional financial ramifications and their competencyas a nuclear facility operator was challenged; the accused violations could have increased theseverity of the TMI accident. As a result of the TMI-2 LOCA and NRC sponsored research of the safety failures atTMI, the NRC enacted a post-TMI action plan designed to enhance industry regulations and theoperational safety and security of U.S. nuclear facilities. The NRC reorganized and enhanced themanagement of nuclear power facilities. Tactics such as more facility safety upgraderequirements, increased authoritative control, and stricter regulations were the foundation forsubstantial safety performance improvements in U.S. nuclear power plants. The NRC also raisedstandards of operator training and qualification requirements and added the requirement for allU.S. nuclear plants to have a developed emergency operational plan intact. The NRC andcommercial nuclear industry adapted recommendations from the commission becomingincreasingly proactive in respect to nuclear safety standards. Major US CIKR accidents such as the Three Mile Island Nuclear Meltdown have assistedthe United States government in recognizing the importance of preparedness in respect to thesecurity of US CIKR. In response to the federal challenges with incident response at TMIPresident J. Carter enacted Executive Order (EO) 12127, in 1979 establishing the FederalEmergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a part of the National Homeland Security strategy. Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 15. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 15FEMA was designed to centralize and integrate the numerous federal agencies with emergencyresponse responsibilities. EO 12148 authorized FEMA to provide the guidelines for responsepolicy, specifically organization and operational coordination of incident management. Having astandardized structure created unity between these multiple entities. While at the same time theflexibility of FEMA‟s comprehensive guidance documents for emergency preparedness responseallows for modifications to best suit each situation. FEMA‟s all-hazard approach for complexincident response situations can be easily adapted to scenarios such as a nuclear meltdown.FEMA plays a major role in Nuclear CIKR FEMA emergency planning and responsemanagement specifically the Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) program. FEMAassumed responsibility for the coordination of off-site activities, specifically governmentemergency planning and response while NRC maintained responsibility of the regulation of on-site emergency planning and response activities. Federal emergency response frameworks provide the most robust and comprehensiverecommendations based off of existing experience, knowledge, and resources and are adaptableto operational capabilities. National guides in response planning support coordinated andcomprehensive incident response efforts are consistent with National Response Framework(NRF) standardization, National Incident Management System (NIMS) terminology, and theIncident Command System (ICS) structure. The NRF predefines the organizational structure forlarge scale domestic incident response from local, state, federal, to headquarters such as DHS‟sNational Operations Center (NOC). The NRF replaced the Federal Radiological EmergencyResponse Plan which was developed in response to the government‟s experience with the TMIaccident. Scenario specific planning documents such as NRF‟s national planning scenarios orNational Infrastructure Protection Plan‟s (NIPP) Sector Specific Plans (SSP) are useful in the Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 16. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 16development of strategic and operational emergency planning for CIKR protection andresilience. Federal involvement in CIKR is delegated by the DHS to Sector-Specific Agencies(SSAs). The Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector is one of the National InfrastructureProtection Plan‟s (NIPP) eighteen designated SSAs responsible for the collaboration of thepublic and private protective activities for a specific critical infrastructure sector. The NuclearSSA is located within the Sector-Specific Agency Executive Management Office (SSA EMO)under the DHS, Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP). The Nuclear SSA is one of the primaryCIKR sectors involved in emergency support functions for oil and hazardous materials, andenergy response. The Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC) provides thelegal frame work for the Nuclear Government Coordinating Council (NGCC) and Nuclear SectorCoordinating Council (NSCC) to work in collaboration towards the protection of Nuclear CIKRas identified and prioritized in the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-7) as well assupporting the implementation of the NIPP. The all-hazards Nuclear SSA approach is dependenton the collaboration of multiple partnerships. The capabilities of numerous appropriately selectedresponding agencies are aligned via the NRF, National Operations Center (NOC), NationalResponse Coordination Center (NRCC), and National Infrastructure Coordinating Center(NICC). The Nuclear SSP delegates CIKR protection responsibilities for the Federal, State, andlocal governments, the private sector, non-government organizations, and internationalparticipants for the Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector. The Nuclear SSP supports the implementation of NIPP through risk assessment,mitigation actions, operational planning, cooperation efforts, and response and recoverystrategies. The Nuclear SSP outlines an array of strategies and tactics to ensure the protection Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 17. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 17and resilience of the Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector. The Nuclear SSP has anestablished framework delegating responsibilities to the agencies accountable for the protectionof Nuclear CIKR via capabilities-based planning and performance standards. The Nuclear SSAcollaborates with the DHS Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center (HITRAC)National Infrastructure Risk Analysis Program (NIRAP) through participation in the StrategicHomeland Infrastructure Risk Analysis (SHIRA) process. SHIRA is a DHS standardized CIKRrisk assessment and analysis program. Nuclear SSP supports a risk-informed approach in thedevelopment of protective measures. The Nuclear Sector goals explained in the Nuclear SSP highlight the importance of fivemajor factors awareness, prevention, protection, response, and recovery. Interagency awarenessis developed through appropriate information sharing with relevant security partners such as theNRC, DOE, DOD, and private sector. Awareness involves international cooperation and sharingtechnical knowledge on nuclear safety. Clear, open, and consistent, proactive and reactivecommunications between the different organizations involved improves the coordination ofresponsibilities and operational activities. Pre-emptive emergency educational materials withpreventative action recommendations such as self decontamination, physical protectivemeasures, ideal sheltering locations, water advisories, ad-hoc protection, and hazard and areasshould be distributed to the publics of a vulnerable area. Public awareness and engagement isbeneficial to good radiation exposure management since it would help to minimize the negativeimmediate and long-term consequences. Information sharing with government and public isnecessary to best achieve recovery goals. Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 18. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 18 Successful emergency management efforts require prioritizing actions in planning andresponse operations. Development and coordination of evacuation plans are dependent onplanning zones. The three planning areas as specified in the Nuclear SSP are the Exclusion AreaBoundar (EAB), the plume exposure pathway (10 mile EPZ), and the Ingestion ExposurePathway (50-mile EPZ). In 1979, TMI lacked a conceptual model to use in evacuation planningand response to an unexpected nuclear accident. While it is now required for all U.S. NuclearSites to have an evacuation plan, the issuance of an evacuation should be handled with carfuldeliberation. Evacuations require significant preparation and resources and should be issued onsituational bases in respects to an analysis cost to benefit ratio. Certain incidents may not requirethe complications of evacuation. When issued an evacuation should be limited to those most atrisk in order to prevent unnecessary hysteria. Emergency response arrangements should bedeveloped by identifying CIKR and prioritizing related protection and restoration activities.Proposed zone delineation for nuclear explosion response planning according to the 2009Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation included low-damage (LD), moderate-damage (MD) and No-Go (NG) zones recognized by the degree of observable damage. Thedangerous fall-out (DF) zone is identified by radiation levels. Incident recovery efforts aremaximized by the enhanced resources of cooperative interagency coordination. To be effectiveemergency response plans must be comprehensive and efforts coordinated at all levels.Communication and coordination are the primary focus in emergency response. Interoperablecommunications promote situational awareness at all government levels and private sector tomanage resources and share incident specific information from the first responders to higherlevel responders and so forth to headquarters. Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 19. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 19 In the event of a major nuclear accident, the regional city management, emergencymanagers, and first responders would be the first to respond to the disaster and its consequences.Once situational awareness is established by conducting initial damage assessments, the need foradditional assistance can be determined. If necessary, the local government should issue anational presidential alert of disaster to the public using FEMA‟s Emergency Alert System(EAS). Disaster declaration and requests are first handled by an established Joint Field Office(JFO) who primarily serves to organize and coordinate the overall incident management efforts.Emergency response shelter and evacuation strategies should be implemented immediately andfacilitating infrastructures such as medical support, properly managed. Coordination betweenjurisdictions and state assets via mutual aid or assistance agreements help to supply necessaryresources and support. Federal government response efforts will greatly enhance technical andfinancial resources. The use of national communication systems such as ICS and JointInformation Center (JIC) enable rapid information dissemination and response between involvedauthorities. Government regulatory authorities collaborate with the private sector to furtherenhance incident response. Private sector involvement includes private sector CIKR operatorsand owners, industry partners, and NGOs such as the Red Cross. Interagency coordination andcollaboration must be established between involved response parties to achieve successfulincident preparation and response. In coordination with FEMA‟s All-Hazard Emergency Operations Planning framework,state and local authorities are responsible for the offsite nuclear facility management, emergencyplanning and response. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the major federalcoordinating agency for radiological regulation and incident response, collaborates with theDHS, the Nuclear SSA, and the Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure the protection of Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 20. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 20commercial and non-power nuclear reactors through implementing protective programs andenforcing industry regulations. The DHS is one of the lead coordinating and managementagencies in CIKR response efforts. In the event of an oil, hazardous material, or energy disasterresponsibility will primarily rest in the Office of Infrastructure Protection: Nuclear Reactors,Materials, and Waste SSA. The interrelated CIKR structure may call for involvement frommultiple SSAs and associated agencies for example, the Department of Transportation (DOT) incoordination with the DOE would be responsible for hazardous material disposal. The DOE alsocontributes to the development of new nuclear technologies. The Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA) contributes to environmental radiation standards. The Clean Air Act (CAA), 1990required that the EPA and other authoritative sources to establish and enforce national emissionsstandards for hazardous air pollutants. EPA‟s Radiological Emergency Response Team (RERT)is specifically responsible for emergency radiological incident response. Emergency responseefforts may require involvement from the Emergency Services SSA, the Public Health andHealthcare Sector SSA, and the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS). Possible additionalfederal involvement may include assistance from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) andU.S. military aid in response efforts, or FBI and DOJ involvement to investigate the possibilityterrorist threat and attacks on Nuclear CIKR. The Critical Infrastructure and Key ResourcesSupport Annex establishes the delineation of roles and responsibilities relative to NRF structureand NIMS guidance in establishing operational activities for CIKR security planning andresponse. Lessons learned from the TMI accident provoked safety and security adjustments for newgeneration of power plants in order to prevent future accidents. Nuclear industry reform post-TMI enhanced technical, operational, and managerial safety and performance. Modern plant Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 21. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 21designs and equipment feature improvements in the physical structure of the reactor and morecompetent and user-friendly control designs for example, a clear and constant display of allequipment statuses in a centralized local. A culture of nuclear safety and emergencypreparedness was developed in the industry reformation. Information dissemination of newtechnological and safety developments and feedback communications on the functional of newdevelopments was more openly share within the U.S. nuclear industry and international partners.Constant enforcement of safety analysis procedures such as radiological assessments andinspection reports have aided in the prevention of design based accidents and over all qualitycontrol. Performance and safety enhancements of nuclear facilities lead up to a recent revival ofthe nuclear industry. Government and private nuclear partners have increased their vocalizationsof nuclear power as a sustainable and environmentally friendly energy solution. Industryexpansion has been facilitated by the U.S. government through the allocation of federal loans tosupport the development of new U.S. nuclear facilities. The DOE Loan Guarantee Program wasestablished in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The $18.5 billion allocated to the DOE is intendedto “reduce the economic risk of deploying the first two or three "first-of-a kind" units ofinnovative reactor designs new to the American market.” (Energy Hearing on Nuclear EnergyDevelopment, 2009, p.3) The functionality of the active commercial nuclear industry wassecured through the issuance NRC extensions of current operating licenses. In 2008, the newTMI facilities owner post-TMI-2 LOCA, the Exelon Corporation, applied for license renewal ofTMI-1 in 2008. According to the U.S. NRC operating reactor licensing, the TMI Unit-1 licensewas renewed in 2009 extending approved nuclear operations until 2034. With the license Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 22. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 22extension the Exelon Byron Nuclear Generating Station at TMI-1 is currently running atcapacity. The TMI-1 Nuclear Generating Station, “like all U.S. nuclear energy facilities, is basedon a „defense-in-depth‟ design, which means there are redundant layers of safety.” (ExelonCorporation, 2011)The defense-in-depth system supports nuclear safety thorough multiple layersor independently functioning safety control measures designed to avert human or system failureat a nuclear facility. Nuclear facilities designed with multiple, diverse data sensors and redundantwarning systems are more likely to prevent and withstand major accidents. The safety enhancedfacility design is supported through highly trained operators and experience management. Inaddition, emergency planning and preparedness activities promote a company culture of safetyawareness, provides substantial guidance for emergency response and responders, and exhibitsExelon‟s commitment to occupation and public health and safety. Exelon has a sophisticated emergency plan in place designed to protect the public healthand safety in event of a nuclear emergency. The current TMI Emergency Plan is approved bythe NRC and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The TMI Emergency Plan explains the publicalert system that would be implemented and details instructions for individuals unable to use thetraditional systems. Situational information such as directions to shelter indoors or evacuationlocations would be disseminated via warning sirens and through the FEMA‟s Emergency AlertSystem (EAS). The plan outlines the emergency procedures to be followed by local publicsspecifically those located within the emergency planning zone (EPZ), a ten mile radius from anuclear facility. Emergency instructions are broken-down by county and township detailing riskand host schools, reception center addresses and driving directions, as well as transportationassistance numbers. The TMI evacuation plan was developed with consideration of traffic flow Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 23. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 23patterns and alternative housing locations; the evacuation map illustrates the evacuation routes,reception centers, and township divisions. The Exelon emergency plan also uses the NRFclassification system used at TMI in order to foster media consistency and public clarity inrespects to reporting unusual activities or crisis situations. The classification system uses fourlevels as follows; unusual event, alert, site area emergency, and general emergency. The use ofExelon emergency procedures, sector specific planning, and federal general emergency planningframeworks provide the guidance necessary for successful emergency response planning. Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 24. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 24 ReferencesAssociated Press. (1983, November 8). Three Mile Island operator falsified tests: jury. Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved from newspapers?id=Cq8yAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Ne8FAAAAIBAJ&dq= three%20mile%20island%20leak%20rates&pg=4415%2C4871603Energy Hearing on Nuclear Energy Development, 111th Cong. (2009) (statement of Dr. T. Cochran - Senior Scientist, Nuclear Program, Natural Resources Defense Council) (U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ).Exelon Corporation. (2011). Committed to Safety. In Three Mile Island. Retrieved from, G. (2001). The woman who knew too much: Alice Stewart and the secrets of radiation. Ann Arbor, MI : University of Michigan Press. Retrieved from, J. (2004, September/October). Three Mile Island: health study meltdown. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 60(5), 31-35. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.Osif, B., Baratta, A., & Contling, T. (2004). TMI 25 years later: The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident and its impact. University Park, PA: The Pennslyvania State University Press. Retrieved from, R., Former P.A. Gov. (1999, September). Some reflections on Three Mile Island . Retrieved from The Clarke Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Contemporary Issues, Dickinson College website: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (2011). Backgrounder on the Three Mile Island Accident. Retrieved from isle.htmlUnited States Presidents Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island (1979). The need for change: The legacy of TMI, Report of the Presidents commission on the accident at Three Mile Island. Retrieved from Landolfi, Nov. 2011
  • 25. NUCLEAR CIKR & TMI-2 LOCA 25 BibliographyU.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2011, July 8). History of radiological emergency response at EPA. Retrieved from Department of Homeland Security [DHS]. (2010). Nuclear reactors, materials, and waste sector-specific plan. Retrieved from 2010.pdfU.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (2004, August). Strategic plan for fiscal years 2004 to 2009. (Vol. No.3). Retrieved from doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr1614/v3/sr1614v3.pdf Landolfi, Nov. 2011