The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

June 3, 2012

Firm to conduct phone survey for nuclear plant

— Most people don’t like to receive unsolicited calls, but an upcoming telephone survey funded by the Tennessee Valley Authority seeks to help the utility prepare for an emergency at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant.

Some residents in Limestone County may have received postcards from TVA informing them of the survey, set to start “in the next one to two weeks.” The card says the survey is required by federal regulators as a means to “fine-tune plans.”

TVA spokesman Ray Golden said the survey, conducted by Market Decisions, is important for not only the utility, but also for emergency planners with the state and county. He said surveys have been conducted previously, but not to this degree.

Information sought from residents will help emergency officials plan for evacuations.

Some of the questions will pertain to the amount of people living in a household, the distance from the home to a school or employer and will also look at demographic patterns in the area.

“(The survey) may also look at if the person would need to go back to their homes to evacuate other family members or stay put,” Golden said.

In addition to the phone survey, TVA has hired another firm to examine local traffic patterns along evacuation routes.

“They’ll be driving the roads in the evacuation route and making sure a one-lane road is still a one-lane road and anything else that could improve evacuation times,” he said.

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