Radiation is any
form of energy propagated as rays, waves or energetic particles
that travel through the air or a material medium.
materials are composed of atoms that are unstable. An unstable
atom gives off its excess energy until it becomes stable. The
energy emitted is radiation. The process by which an atom
changes from an unstable state to a more stable state by
emitting radiation is called radioactive decay or radioactivity.
some natural or background radiation exposure each day from the
sun, radioactive elements in the soil and rocks, household
appliances (like television sets and microwave ovens), and
medical and dental x-rays. Even the human body itself emits
radiation. These levels of natural and background radiation is
normal. The average American receives 360 millirems of radiation
each year, 300 from natural sources and 60 from man-made
activities. (A rem is a unit of radiation exposure.)
materials--if handled improperly--or radiation accidentally
released into the environment, can be dangerous because of the
harmful effects of certain types of radiation on the body. The
longer a person is exposed to radiation and the closer the
person is to the radiation, the greater the risk.
radiation cannot be detected by the senses (sight, smell, etc.),
it is easily detected by scientists with sophisticated
instruments that can detect even the smallest levels of
For An Emergency
and local officials work together to develop site-specific
emergency response plans for nuclear power plant accidents.
These plans are tested through exercises that include protective
actions for schools and nursing homes.
The plans also
delineate evacuation routes, reception centers for those seeking
radiological monitoring and location of congregate care centers
for temporary lodging.
State and local
governments, with support from the Federal government and
utilities, develop plans that include a plume emergency planning
zone with a radius of 10 miles from the plant, and an ingestion
planning zone within a radius of 50 miles from the plant.
the 10-mile emergency planning zone are regularly disseminated
emergency information materials (via brochures, the phone book,
calendars, utility bills, etc.). These materials contain
educational information on radiation, instructions for
evacuation and sheltering, special arrangements for the
handicapped, contacts for additional information, etc. Residents
should be familiar with these emergency information materials.
emergency plans call for a prompt Alert and Notification system.
If needed, this prompt Alert and Notification System will be
activated quickly to inform the public of any potential threat
from natural or man-made events. This system uses either sirens,
tone alert radios, route alerting (the "Paul Revere" method), or
a combination to notify the public to tune their radios or
television to an Emergency Alert System (EAS) station.
The EAS stations
will provide information and emergency instructions for the
public to follow. If you are alerted, tune to your local EAS
station which includes radio stations, television stations, NOAA
weather radio, and the cable TV system.
must be made to assist and care for persons who are medically
disabled or handicapped. If you or someone you know lives within
ten miles of a nuclear facility, please notify and register with
your local emergency management agency. Adequate assistance will
be provided during an emergency.
In the most
serious case, evacuations will be recommended based on
particular plant conditions rather than waiting for the
situation to deteriorate and an actual release of radionuclides
Plan Worksheet - Information Sheet
Tips for Pets, Livestock & Wildlife
& Water In An Emergency
Nuclear Plants for Louisiana
Nuclear Classification Levels
Pets & Disasters -
Actions Fact Sheet-Shelter