The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that an Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) be established around each commercial nuclear power plant to allow for emergency planning and response. This zone was designed to be roughly a ten-mile radius. FEMA has oversight responsibilities for nuclear power plant emergency planning within this area. To allow for further planning, the State of California expanded the Diablo Canyon EPZ, so it is much larger than the EPZ defined by the federal government.

Emergency Planning Zone Map

Protective Action Zones

The Diablo Canyon EPZ is divided into 12 Protective Action Zones (PAZ) and a 5 and 10 nautical mile safety zone. PAZs help organize emergency planning and response actions into areas that are familiar to emergency response agencies and the public. If there is a major emergency, residents in a PAZ may be directed to take protective actions, such as evacuation or shelter in place. It is unlikely an emergency at Diablo Canyon would affect the entire EPZ.

Public Education Zones

Surrounding the 12 PAZs are three zones known as Public Education Zones (PEZ). Residents in these areas are not likely to be affected by an emergency at DCPP. However, since residents in the PEZ (zones 13 through 15) are near the EPZ, general information about DCPP is also provided to them.