In the event of a Nuclear Powerplant Emergency : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I know that many of you are worried about the status of our Nuclear Power facilities. There has been many reports about their compliance but very little posted about what to do in the event something catastrophic actually happens. Preparing for such and emergency is not your routine drill and should be considered and planned acordingly in the case where you live in a close proximity. These plans should be practiced and updated along with your other family emergency plans.

Nuclear Power Plant Emergency

Here is the homepage link in case any of (like me) have an unusual interest in Nucelar War. It is excellent and I highly recomend downloading the Nuclear Survival Skills book at the bottom of the page in the download section. It covers bomb shelters (Y2K shelters?) in a detailed, illustrated section.

Atomic Bomb page and Survival




Although construction and operation of nuclear power plants are closely monitored and regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, accidents, though unlikely, are possible. The most immediate danger from an accident at a nuclear power plant is exposure to high levels of radiation.

BEFORE Know these facts about a nuclear power plant emergency. A nuclear power plant accident would not cause the same widespread destruction as a nuclear weapon. Although radioactive materials could be released in a cloud or plume, no fallout is produced to endanger people. There may be radiation hazard in the surrounding areas, depending on the type of accident, amount of radiation released, and weather factors. Radiation would be monitored by authorities to determine potential danger and warn the public. Local citizens would be evacuated or instructed on how to avoid radiation hazards. Attend public information meetings. Local emergency managers and plant officials can provide information about radioactivity; safety precautions; and local, state, industry, and federal accident emergency plans. Ask about the hazards radiation may pose to your family. Young children, pregnant women, and the elderly may be affected more than others. Ask where nuclear power plants, radioactive storage sites, and radioactive waste dumps are located. Learn your community's warning systems. Learn emergency plans for schools, day care centers, nursing homes--anywhere family members might be. Have disaster supplies on hand:

1) Flashlight and extra batteries 2) Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries 3) First aid kit and manual 4) Emergency food and water 5) Nonelectric can opener 6) Essential medicines 7) Cash and credit cards 8) Sturdy shoes

Obtain information about official evacuation routes from local officials.

Terms for Describing Nuclear Power Plant Emergencies Know the following terms and what they mean: Notification of unusual event means a problem has occurred at the plant, but no radiation leak is expected. No action by you is necessary. Alert means that small amounts of radiation could leak inside the plant, but it will not affect the community. No action by you is necessary. Site area emergency describes a more serous problem. Small amounts of radiation could leak from the plant. Area sirens may sound. Listen to your radio or television for information. General emergency refers to a serious problem. Radiation could leak outside the plant and off the plant site. Area sirens will sound. Listen to your radio or television for instructions.

Be prepared to evacuate or find shelter in your home. Be prepared to evacuate or find shelter in your home. Develop an emergency communication plan. In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the family contact. After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone know the name, address, and phone number of the contact person. Emergency Response Plans Federal, state, and local officials work together to develop emergency response plans for nuclear power plants and surrounding communities. These plans are tested through emergency exercises that can include small-scale evacuation drills for public institutions such as schools and nursing homes.

DURING Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for official information. Not all nuclear power plant incidents result in the release of radiation. If advised to remain at home: Bring pets inside. Close and lock windows and doors. Turn off air conditioning, vents, fans, and furnace. Close fireplace dampers Go to the basement or other underground area. Stay inside until authorities say it is safe. If you must go out, cover mouth and nose.

When coming in from outdoors: Shower and change clothing and shoes. Put items worn outdoors in a plastic bag and seal it.

If advised to evacuate:

Listen to a radio or television for information on evacuation routes, temporary shelters, and procedures. Minimize contamination in house. Close and lock windows and doors. Turn off air conditioning, vents, fans, and furnace. Close fireplace dampers. Take disaster supplies. Remember your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.

Three Ways to Minimize Radiation Exposure There are three ways to minimize radiation exposure to your body: Distance--The more distance between you and the source of the radiation, the less radiation you will receive. In a serious nuclear accident, local officials will likely call for an evacuation, thereby increasing the distance between you and the radiation. Like distance, the more heavy, dense materials between you and the source of the radiation, the better. This is why local officials could advise you to remain indoors if a radiological accident occurs. In some cases, the walls in your home would be sufficient shielding to protect you. Most radioactivity loses its strength fairly quickly. Limiting the time spent near the source of radiation reduces the amount of radiation you will receive. Following a radiological accident, local authorities will monitor any release of radiation and determine when the threat has passed.

After the Event When the immediate danger has passed, avoid using foods from your garden or milk from cows or goats until they can be inspected by local emergency officials. Remember that contamination can affect areas many miles from the accident site.

-- (, June 27, 1999


Side note:

There is a DOS based Nuclear Bomb Simulator also in the download section. It's a very short DL and it's very interesting. This lets you determine what the fallout (etc.) effects of a Nuke would have depending on variables you input, like Kilotonage of power and Wind Speed. (Again, for those of you who have an unusual interest in this kind of stuff. *Warning, after reading this stuff you may experience insomnia and an insatiable need to write leters to your Congressman to put a ban on Nuclear weapons(or at least I did anyway)).

PS: Below is a color pic of the nuke test at the Bikini Atoll (Largest Nuke Test done by USA, about one quarter the size of the largest detonation in history by the Russians (54 Megatons or 54000 Kilotons. (Hiroshima was about a 20 K-ton bomb))

Pictu re of Largest US nuke detonation

-- (, June 27, 1999.

I would think that in the "worst case scenario" if the power and phones go down and there is an "event" that causes radiation release, the lack of power and phones may complicate any plans by the NRC or OES.. or individuals. The word may not get out from the plant. Or radio stations may not have backup power. Or people may not have battery radios. Or the lack of power may shut down gas stations which would interfere with an evacuation. Or a few of those cars trying to get out of town may have those ellusive chips which shut them down and gum up traffic. Or there may be unrest because the power is out - unrelated to whatever is going on at the nuclear plant. Or there may be no place for them to evacuate because everyplace is pretty chaotic because the power and phones are out. Or there may not be enough KI stockpiled by the local officials. Or the officials may just give happy-face all-is-well reports for far too long (as in TMI) delaying effective action by the populace until the situation gets REALLY bad. Or the problem may not happen because of programming or embedded chips at the nuke plants (probably won't, if the assurances from the NRC are true), but if power is lost for A WHILE, backup power may fail at one or more plants.. either right away, or after a few days if the power stays off. If a nuclear incident happens several days (or weeks) into Y2K the general chaos of the city/country will not make anything any easier.. that's for sure.

But that's just doomer "what if's". No need to worry about that because the NRC is coming out with a report next week to Allay Y2K Fears

-- Linda (, June 27, 1999.

Potassium iodate.

-- Barb (, June 27, 1999.

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