State and county emergency planners, supported by hundreds of highly
trained safety experts (police, firefighters, medical personnel and
other officials) have developed extensive procedures for an emergency
that might occur at Indian Point.
If an emergency were to occur, the county executives would receive
information directly from the nuclear plant operators as well as from
emergency planners and staff from all county departments. At the same
time, each county executive would be in immediate and continuous
communication with the county executives from the three other counties
surrounding Indian Point. The county executives would also be in direct
communication with state and federal officials.
Together, government officials would decide what protective actions,
if any, the public should take. Their decisions and instructions would
be communicated to the public through the Emergency Alert System (EAS)
broadcasts as well as through other news media.
Sheltering-in-place and evacuation are two possible protective actions
that you may be instructed to take during an emergency. The goal of
protective actions is to minimize the public’s exposure to a
radiological release. Elected officials will decide what specific
protective actions are best for the public to take after considering a
wide range of expert advice and information, including data on the
amount and duration of the release, wind direction and weather
conditions. The actions of sheltering or evacuation each have advantages
depending upon the situation.
Police are highly trained in evacuation procedures and traffic control
techniques. The counties have performed traffic studies of roads both
within and outside the EPZ, and have extensive control systems in place
to facilitate traffic flow during any emergency.
In most instances, only people living in specific
Protective Action Areas would be told to evacuate. Therefore, it is most
important for people to follow directions from public officials
carefully to ensure a successful evacuation.
Shadow evacuation should be avoided as it causes
unnecessary congestion on the roads needed by people in those Protective
Action Areas that are being instructed to evacuate. County emergency
plans take the possibility of a “shadow” evacuation into consideration.
These plans have factored it into their procedures and training. Public
awareness of the dangers of unnecessary evacuation is one way to reduce
No. Radioactive fuel in a nuclear plant has very low levels of the
type of element that could cause a nuclear explosion. It should be noted
that even at low concentrations, precautions must be taken so that
radioactive materials produced by the uranium do not reach the
All nuclear power plants in the U.S. are designed with containment
buildings of concrete and steel. The 1986 accident in Chernobyl, Russia
occurred in a nuclear plant that did not have a containment building.
Nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, etc., within the EPZ have included
emergency procedures in their emergency plans. Staff is trained in these
procedures to keep these people safe in the event of an emergency.
You should fill out the enclosed postcard at the end of this booklet for
people with special needs and drop it in the mail. You need to do so
even if you did so last year. You should arrange for a neighbor to
assist you in an emergency.
If you choose to go to a friend or a relative’s home outside the EPZ,
ask them if they will accept your pet, or arrange to have it boarded
elsewhere. Pets, except for service animals such as seeing-eye dogs are
not allowed inside the General Population Reception Centers.
For more information about preparing your pet for emergencies, review the the Humane Society of the United States website at http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/be_a_lifesaver_disaster_planning_can_save_your_pet_in_an_emergency.html
Radiation is energy, such as
heat, light and radio waves, that moves at high speed through space or
matter. One type of radiation is produced by so-called radioactive
Radiation is part of nature,
and humans are exposed to radiation all the time. It comes from rocks in
the earth, from the sun and stars. Radiation also comes from common
man-made sources, such as many building materials, smoke detectors and
Radiation has been very
well-studied for a hundred years. It can be very useful when properly
controlled for peaceful purposes such as for medical X-rays and the
production of electricity. But radiation can be dangerous. In too large a
dose, radiation can cause harm by damaging living cells. Excessive
doses of radiation need to be guarded against.
At every one of our country’s
more than 100 nuclear power plants, every safety precaution is taken to
isolate, shield and prevent radioactive materials from escaping to the
Radiation can be easily measured with various instruments, including Geiger counters.