Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Exploring a model nuclear planning and response program: Evaluating public awareness of written risk and emergency

Ekong J. Peters, PhD, Caroline S. Hackerott, PhD, Weijia Jia, PhD

Abstract


High-reliability organizations (HROs) including commercial airlines, the NASA Space Shuttle engineering team, US Naval aircraft carrier and nuclear submarine crews, and US nuclear power plants are relatively safe. However, these organizations experience system breakdowns often with catastrophic outcomes. This study focuses on risk information management strategies employed by a nuclear energy power plant located within 10 miles of a population center. The evacuation planning zone (EPZ) includes a hospital, several schools, and a public university. The nuclear plant provides written preparedness and evacuation information for all residents within the EPZ in the event of a radiological emergency. Focusing on the campus community within the EPZ, this study investigates individual awareness regarding the potential of a radiological event, the emergency information booklet, and the information provided within the booklet. We use descriptive statistics, frequency distribution, and cross tabulations (contingency tables) to establish awareness levels. Our study determines those participants who read the emergency instructions booklet are prepared to make an informed decision in the event of a radiological incident. We find college affiliation, educational level, university role, and age significantly related to emergency instruction booklet utilization. We also find gender is significantly linked to overall risk perception regarding a radiological event. Findings support previous research regarding women’s higher levels of risk aversion and pessimism involving dangerous new risky technologies and activities like nuclear energy plants. These findings support modifying policy to ensure nuclear facilities assess the efficacy of their warning systems in alerting the public. Furthermore, our findings provide guidance regarding the evaluation of the effectiveness of emergency instruction booklet distribution.


Keywords


risk communication, risk management, emergency instructions, instruction booklet, nuclear energy, nuclear power plant, population concentration, high-reliability organizations

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bierly PE III, Spender JC: Culture and high reliability organizations: The case of the nuclear submarine. J Manag. 1995; 21(4): 639-656.

Perl RF: Terrorism, the future, and US foreign policy. CRS Issue Brief for Congress, 2001.

US NRC: How can I prepare for a radiological emergency? 2019. Available at https://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/emerg-preparedness/prepare-for-radiological-emerg.html. Accessed December 2019.

Visschers VHM, Siegrist M: How a nuclear power plant accident influence acceptance of nuclear power: Results of a longitudinal study before and after the Fukushima disaster. Risk Anal. 2013; 33(2): 333-347.

US NRC: Emergency planning zones. 2018. Available at https://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/emerg-preparedness/about-emerg-preparedness/planning-zones.html. Accessed November 27, 2019.

Calder S: Airline safety: 2017 was safest year in history for passengers around the world, research shows, 2018. INDY/GO. Available at https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/air-safety-2017-best-year-safest-airline-passengers-worldwide-to70-civil-aviation-review-a8130796.html. Accessed May 12, 2021.

International Air Transport Association: IATA Releases 2016 Airline Safety Performance. 2017. IATA Press Release No. 14.

Manandhar R, Siebeneck LK: Return-entry risk communication challenges: Experiences of local emergency management organizations following superstorm sandy. Int J Mass Emerg Disasters. 2018; 36(2): 120-148.

US Census Bureau: QuickFacts. 2019. Available at https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045219. Accessed May 12, 2021.

Weick K, Roberts KH: Collective mind in organizations. Heedful interrelating on flight decks. Adm Sci Q. 1993; 38(3): 357-381.

Mileti D: Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press, 1999.

Clarke L, Short JF: Social organization and risk: Some current controversies. Annu Rev Sociol. 1993; 19: 375-399.

Wildarsky A, Dake K: Theories of risk perception: Who fears what and why? Daedalus. 1990; 119(4): 41-60.

US NRC: Backgrounder: Three Mile Island accident. 2014. Available at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/factsheets/3mile-isle.html#animated. Accessed December 2017.

Romzek BS, Utter JA: Career dynamics of congressional legislative staff: Preliminary profile and research questions. J Public Adm Res Theory. 1996; 6(3): 415-442.

Hans JM Jr, Sell TC: Evacuation risks—An evaluation. Las Vegas, NV: EPA, 1974: 101-153.

Zeigler DJ, Brunn SD, Johnson JH: Evacuation from a nuclear technological disaster. Geogr Rev. 1981; 71(1): 1-16.

Weick K, Sutchliffe K, Obstfeld D: Organizing for high reliability: Processes of collective mindfulness. Res Organ Behav. 1999; 21: 91-123.

Houts PS, Lindell MK, Hu TW, et al.: The protective action decision model applied to evacuation during the three mile island crisis. Int J Mass Emerg Disasters. 1984; 2(1): 26-39.

Perrow C: Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999.

Perrow C: The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007.

Hill A, Roberts J, Ewings P, et al.: Non-response bias in a lifestyle survey. J Public Health Med. 1997; 19(2): 203-207.

Drabek TE: The Human Side of Disaster. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2013.

Eckel CC, Grossman PJ: Men, women and risk aversion: Experimental evidence. In Plott C, Smith V (eds.): Handbook of Experimental Economics Results. New York, NY: Elsevier, 2008: 1061-1073.

Cutter SL, Tiefenbacher J, Solecki WD: En-gendered fears: Femininity and technological risk perception. Ind Crisis Q. 1992; 6: 5-22.

Brody CJ: Differences by sex in support for nuclear power. Soc Forces. 1984; 63(1): 209-228.

Fothergill A: The neglect of gender in disaster work: An overview of the literature. In Enarson E, Morrow BH (eds.): The gendered terrain of disaster. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 1998: 11-44.

Fothergill A, Gender R: Disaster. Int J Mass Emerg Disasters. 1996; 14(1): 33-56.

Lindell MK, Perry RW: The protective action decision model: Theoretical modification and additional evidence. Risk Anal. 2012; 32(4): 616-632.

MNE: Available at https://www.entergy-nuclear.com/nuclearsites. Accessed December 2020.

Chen X, Frazier C, Manandhar R, et al.: Inequalities of nuclear risk communication within and beyond the evacuation planning zone. Appl Spat Anal. 2018. DOI: 10.1007/s12061-018-9257-7.

Freudenburg WR: Perceived risk, real risk: Social science and the art of probabilistic risk assessment. Science. 1988; 242(4875): 44-49.

Field A: Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics. 4th ed. Los Angeles, CA: Sage, 2013.

Gail MD, Gail JP, Borg WR: Educational Research: An Introduction. 8th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2007.

Knapp H: Introductory Statistics Using SPSS. 2nd ed. Los Angeles, CA: Sage, 2017.

Meier KJ, Brudney JL, Bohte J: Applied Statistics for Public & Nonprofit Administration. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2009.

Fox JA, Savage J: Mass murder goes to college: An examination of changes on college campuses following Virginia tech. Am Behav Sci. 2009; 52(10): 1465-1485.

Nathan B: Non-response bias. 2005. Available at https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/26373/. Accessed December 2017.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jem.0562

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Emergency Management