Plan Your Evacuation Route Away From Nuclear Power Plants

For those of you who live near a nuclear power plant, and especially if within 50 miles, it might be a good idea to plan your evacuation route (bugout) before such a time when there is a nuclear accident or worse.

I recently received an email from someone who came across an earlier article here on MSB which included a map that I put together of all nuclear power plants in the United States with a 50 mile radius circle drawn around each one.

Nuclear Power Plant Meltdown – 50 Mile Radius

The person brought up a good topic suggestion that there are many people (tens of millions +) who live within a potentially dangerous vicinity of a nuclear reactor or multiple nuclear power plants – and if there ever was a disastrous situation whereby one or more of these plants began to “leak” (or worse) then it would be prudent to know an evacuation route which keeps you at least 50 miles away from any of them as you head towards a predetermined bugout location.

I recently read a New York Times article which reports “Hackers Are Targeting Nuclear Facilities, Homeland Security Dept. and F.B.I. Say”.

“The hackers appeared determined to map out computer networks for future attacks, the report concluded. But investigators have not been able to analyze the malicious “payload” of the hackers’ code, which would offer more detail into what they were after.”

Note: In 2008, an attack called Stuxnet that was designed by the United States and Israel to hit Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facility, demonstrated how computer attacks could disrupt and destroy physical infrastructure. Think it can’t happen here??

We live in a highly technological world of many countless integrated-computerized systems, many of which provide the lifeblood for our literal survival. The reality is that there are those who wish to bring it all down and it seems that as we slide further into ‘tech’ dependency – the more vulnerable we become.

While one might expect that the security of our nuclear power plant infrastructure is of the utmost priority for the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission), we should not assume that those barriers will never be breached.

That said, if you are one of those who live near a nuke plant, here’s a simple suggestion:

Have a look at the following maps, get out your own maps or road atlas for your state – region, and figure out an evacuation route that will keep you at least 50 miles away from any of them.

This means that you will need to know where you’re going – to have a destination in mind. Obviously this should not be near any other nuclear power plant! Do you have any friends or relatives who live in a safe region? If not, then at least pick a destination where you might go and then plan your evacuation route.

Road Atlas Map For Each State


(Larger Map here)

Map of Power Reactor Sites (U.S. NRC)

For more fine detail while planning your evacuation route around and away from these plants, here is a list of nuclear power reactor units in the United States with links to each one.

NRC List of Nuclear Power Reactor Units

Well that’s today’s food for thought. A safer evacuation route away from nuclear power plants. You do have a Road Atlas in your vehicle right?

One asset to have during a nuclear event would be a radiation detector (Geiger Counter), dosimeter (cumulative dose). Without one you will have no idea how bad it is out there – or when or where the air is safe.

RADEX RD1503+ with Dosimeter

Related article:
iOSAT™ Tablets For Your Nuclear Survival Kit

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  1. Only a prepper would be vacuuming the house and mentally planning a route to avoid radiation. I am wondering about prevailing winds. We are upwind of a nuclear power plant. How much will that be a factor – wind speed, gusts need to be planned for. Always so much to factor in and you don’t want to be wrong!

    Stay frosty.

  2. In our area all the units have been decommissioned, which is a good thing.

    In reference to keeping maps in our vehicles. We also keep a truckers map, which shows their major routes of travel. It will assist us in avoiding those roads/highways just in case of an event occurring.

    Rand McNally Deluxe Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas

    The next set of maps we keep beside the regular road atlas is the individual state maps. The best maps are picked up at the visitors bureau when you are traveling, have found them to be detail to a greater depth at times over the normal map for each state. The older maps show roads that sometimes the newer maps leave off. Could be that the roads are not maintained up to the states standards or decommissioned road ways.

    *a bit of humor on the truckers routes, at least one will know where to find their chips & salsa–or chocolate with tea**

      1. This is a great map of commercial sites but what about the private sites like Westinghouse and other large nuclear companies?

  3. My one (important to me) question.

    This iodine stuff we are to take to protect our thyroids,
    Is it okay to give to pets?

    Thanks for answering

    1. Iodine is not necessary if you are over sixty because the thyroid isn’t as active and will not absorb radiation as fast.

      Check out coconut activated charcoal. Taken with water it will absorb radiation in your body (and other stuff, too).

  4. @bigus Marcus

    “Portable nuclear power plants” is a ridiculous joke unless you are talking about a nuclear submarine. Are you then going to have portable cooling ponds, portable cooling towers, portable electrical substations, and portable operations/maintenance personnel. Clearly, this new rumor has not been though thru but is intended to scare the public. As an electrical engineer with 30 years design experience I take serious exception with Ignorance.

    1. Texas boy portable nukes have been around since the late 1950s in fact we had a nuke power airplane back then AB36 built by convair in Texas, and a railroad locomotive was run on a molten salt reactor. Sooo hate to tell you but there out there and you will never know it, a molten salt reactor can be made to fit in the back of a pickup truck, in fact I know a boy scout that built on in his backyard, sorry but you wrong one that one.

      Check the web for thorium molten salt reactors.

      Learn to love the glow.

        1. Cat6
          Thank you for the link, never heard of this before until you and 0ldhomesteader brought it the fore front.

    2. Not sure if this fills the bill but all of our aircraft carriers are nuclear powered. While tied up at a pier they can provide electricity and fresh water for an entire small city. They are portable. And… to make matters worse, if the people that own them decide the city folks aren’t doing what they are told then they can simply sit off shore and lob nuclear warheads at it. Either way, whether their reactor melts down or some crazed commander or politician decides to shoot the moon doesn’t matter, the inhabitants will still be glowing toast.

  5. Well, I guess I got lucky on this one. The nearest active plant is 2 or 3 hundred miles to the southwest of me. We use to worry about Hanford, but not any more. And it too is a long way off. However, we still worry about St. Helens and Rainier etc. Last time, we got a butt load of ash dumped on us.

  6. Having worked with nukes I’m not to worried about some of the hype I see and hear. I see a lot has been left off the map as posted, don’t see anything for Idaho falls or the Spokane WA area or the number of backyard reactors out there, no I did not misstate that, BACK YARD HOMEMADE MIRCO REACTORS not much harder to build than a car motor. You don’t need a advanced degree to do it just need to know ware to find the info, and isotopes are also not hard to get. If someone has one has one you would never know it, a 3.5kw unit is about the size of a 35gal garbage can and can run for at least 10 years on 60 dollars worth of thorium that can be had ez. The American people have been taught unnecessary fear about nukes. Forgive the rant but I get tired of the BS about nukes, knowledge is power to change things for the better of all.

    I bet the guy that discovered fire burnt his fingers.

    If you want to learn about nukes ask and let’s talk.
    Over some good tea and chocolate.

    1. Quote, “I see a lot has been left off the map as posted”

      No, there hasn’t with relevance to nuclear power plants producing GW of electricity that may (or may not) one day pose a threat whereby you might be prudent to plan (ahead of time) an escape route at least 50 miles from said plant or plants.

      The map lists EVERY commercial power plant in the United States. I’m not talking about someone’s homemade backyard power generator…

      Quote, “I get tired of the BS about nukes”

      And what BS has been posted in this article?

      1. Ken most people that talk about the danger of nuke power could not get past the door to get in a control room let alone know what’s happening in there or how things work and why.

        Some examples, coal plants produce more radioactive emissions in a day than a nuke is allowed in it’s life time. Granted a water pressure reactors have an inherent weakness but we were trained to make things work safely. Yes, accidents can happen, that’s why we train like airline pilots, only better.

        I’m sick and tired of the bad mouthing nukes get, the news media uses fear to sell there garbage. Just look at what happened in Oroville with the dam, the problem in Japan was the tsunami not the power plant. And no, the sky is not falling because of the leak. The Soviets lost a number of nuke power boats and a icebreaker to runaway reactors at sea plus some warheads that we have been mounting over the years again NO BIG DEAL in the long-term.

        On contrast, the US NAVY has NEVER HAD a serious problem. Have you looked at the data from Chernobyl? I have, that was just about the worst bunch of screw up you could have. People NOT TRAINED in the control room, first responders NOT TRAINED for what they faced, PROBABLY THE BEST EXAMPLE OF HOW NOT TO DO THINGS, yet the area around the plant is coming back, no wildlife with three eyes, babies are being born normal, more people are sick and die from asthma in a year from coal plants than have ever died from nukes including the two bombs in Japan. I see a new wave coming of safe small reactors coming, that use fuel more efficiently and reduce long term waste to almost nil. You can find out more for your self look at the thorium alliance on the web also look up molton salt thorium reactors.

        I currently am working on trying to help developing micro reactors, instead of a gas or diesel gen set a nuke generator humming away in the back yard look no grid, the problems are not tech but with dumb laws written by people that don’t know there, from a hole in the ground, have you ever watched chickens when a big bird flies over?

        1. So… what your saying or suggesting is that preparedness for a potential nuclear related ‘event’ (e.g an evacuation route) is unwarranted?

    2. The people of Japan were assured that the Fukushima Reactors were safe prior to the massive earthquake and tsunami that has now contaminated the aquatic life of the entire northern pacific. Hind sight is always 20/20!!

      The unexpected Happened, they were given the best info that was available at the time. It wasn’t BS!! We MUST plan for the UNEXPECTED!!!

  7. The posting “0LDHOMESTEADER” has placed on this page in reference to nuclear power and other alternative power sources, comes from knowledge.

    Understanding where he comes from, lets us know he is a very knowledgeable person dealing with this fields power source.

    No, have not had the luxury of setting down for good chocolate & a cup of tea with 0ldhomesteader & Mrs. 0ldhomesteader, but they are passing on their hard earned knowledge…listen to what the pass along to you.

  8. I’ve got my routes already planned.

    Its not the norm for Ken to post a topic on Sunday. Perhaps Ken also feels the pressure building towards making sure we have all our bases covered.

    I feel that the more ridiculous things get with our Govt Politicians attempting unseat our President, the more they make fools of themselves.
    I think they know that the midterm elections won’t happen, because if they did they would have an agenda besides just being against this President.

    It seems we have dozens of ways to have a trigger event and this is just one.

    Regardless of what that trigger event might be, the most important prep is having a plan so that your reaction time can be shortened so that you’ll be removing yourself from the danger zone much sooner than others.

      1. Thanks Ken,

        We all need to be reminded, every once in a while, that there are things out there that are way outside our field of knowledge. I live more that 300 miles north west of the reactor in the south east of Washington but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be prepared for anything. Yes, we are more concerned about Baker, Rainier and Helen and maybe even Hood, depending on wind drift, but the information here is still good and helps me realize there are many things out there we never think of. The tidbits I pick up from each of these articles is very helpful, like Pieface’s info on Coconut Activated Charcoal. Something worth noting. Thanks again.

  9. The problem with nuke plants is the waste.
    Hanford is a prime example.
    The danger/ after effects from the JAPAN mess has yet to be realized.

  10. Not even mentioned in regard to avoiding nuke power plants – security …

    If there’s a single civilian facility that’ll be guarded and kept operational at all costs – it’s the nuke plants – if shutdown they’ll be post-SHTF top priority to get back online ….

    all the power plants – nuke or conventional – should be route avoided …. last thing you want and need is rolling up to a military roadblock when they are FEMA detaining citizens ….

  11. I see we hit on a few sensitive nerves here…

    0ldhomesteader, I know enough about Nukes “portable” and stationary to be cautious of some nut-job deciding to set off a few pounds of C-4 in the wrong places. Hence I appreciated Ken’s efforts to publish this article to us.

    Ken, I don’t believe that 0ldhomesteader was trying to insult you, he’s not built that way, or maybe he had too much Tea? Although I will agree with him there is a LOT of overrated hype about Nukes, and a LOT more that’s not understood by the ‘norm’ that scares the hell out of us. Not too sure 0ld was calling your article BS at all….

    Texas boy, oops…. If you had seen the “USN” they actually do have ‘portable’ nukes that are very successful in helping a LOT of places that lose their grid for a period of time, and I heve personally seen a Carrier power a protion of San Diego as a test run back in the 70s.

    EVERYONE, relax a bit, the design and operation of the “Nukes” are well tested, until you get a bunch of idiots doing exactly what they should NOT do. Y-all might work more about KN and that punk-ass-kid that wants to NUKE us intentionally that an accident. Or better yet, worry about the 10,000 other things that can and WILL go wrong..

    Breath people, breath

      1. @ 0ldhomesteader

        Can NOT believe the Wife ate all the Chocolate and left you without????

        How in the hack can ya have a good Tea, without a nip of Chocolate?


        PS; I got Chocolate…. hehehehe

  12. In the future if there is interest I will post a more indepth write up on micro reactors on the saturday free for all ,in the mean time ,the book ,superfuel. by Martim,,about thorium is a good place to start ,

    Who is John Galt

    1. @Oldhomesteader’

      Rather than writing up a long post in the comments section regarding an in-depth look at micro reactors, it sounds like a great topic for an article. Feel free to email me if you would like it posted as such. Thanks.

    2. @ 0ldhomesteader

      “Who is John Galt”, Extremely interesting Novel, a slow read for me, time ya know.

      Had a Physics/Engineering Prof. that was doing some work on a micro-reactor, was quite impressive. Lost contact with him, but last I heard he was full on ‘off-grid’ with what he had built.


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