How do you evacuate more than 100,000 people in an orderly way while radioactive material is being leaked into the atmosphere?
Dominion, owner of Millstone Power Station, is working to ascertain that answer as we speak. Dominion is required to update its evacuation plan once a decade, when the new census numbers come out.
“Our evacuation plan will be leaps and bounds better the one we had just 10 years ago, thanks to some increases in technology,” Millstone spokesman Ken Holt said. “We now have much more sophisticated computer equipment that will allow us to model the evacuation.”
From Wednesday to Friday, Dominion is commissioning a telephone survey of people within a 10-mile radius of the Waterford nuclear power plant to find out their basic driving habits, Holt said. The goal is to get a better estimate of the number of people evacuating in a given area, the number of vehicles used to evacuate and the amount of time needed to prepare for evacuation, according to a Dominion news release.
The calls will be made from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday to Friday by First Market Research, a Boston-based company, according to the release. The survey will take ten minutes to complete, and will ask questions such as “How long does it take to you drive from work to home?”, and “How many vehicles that are usually available to the household would your family use if an evacuation was necessary?”, according to the release.
The telehpone survey is just part of the study, Holt said. Dominion has also commissioned a traffic study through an engineering firm, he said.
Evacuation In General
If there was a radiation leak from Millstone, all people within a 10-mile radius would be forced to evacuate, according to Millstone’s evacuation guide. That includes everybody in Waterford, New London, East Lyme, Old Lyme, Montville and Fishers Island, and parts of Groton, Lyme and Ledyard, according to the guide.
The evacuation guide for all towns can be found here. This new evacuation plan will be complete by the end of 2012, and will be done with the knowledge and input of the affected towns’ emergency management directors, Holt said.
“We are constantly practicing our emergency planning,” Holt said. “We are always in contact with them.”