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The social and economic cost of evacuating 
lots of people is very high,
and authorities naturally want 
to avoid such measures.

It will therefore be up to the individual people
to decide whether evacuation is necessary.

The obvious precautions include:

staying indoors with the windows firmly shut,
closing any ventilation system,
bring in any wash hanging outside on the line,
bringing in any domestic pets,
sealing off open fireplaces,
put away carpets and hard to clean
dust-collecting items such as clothing and curtains.

If you get dust or smoke on you,
take two or three showers.

Leave your shoes outside the house.

Keep children away from play areas and sandpits.
Afterward check these areas carefully.

Cover your vegetable garden with plasic.
Avoid eating local produce unless you know the
level of contamination.
Keep a stock of fresh, covered water
and food free of fallout.
Refrigerated foods should be ok.
Wash clothing and bed linen every day.

If you have to go out in the rain,
cover yourself with waterproof clothing
and rubber boots. Cover your mouth and 
nose with a damp disposable cloth.
to prevent swallowing or inhaling radioactive particles.

Avoid consuming fresh milk or dairy
products from anywhere in the area.

Concrete buildings (90% safe) 
are safer than wooden ones (50% safe.)

The highest levels of fall out occur close to the
plant, particularly less voltile 
actinides and alpha emitters, that are
easily blown around and suspended in air.
These can be breathed in and are
carried into coastal waters and lakes, 
where they are concentrated in bottom dwellers and
bacteria, and there enter the food chain.

Fertilizing the ground with potash or potassium
causes less ground intake of caesium. 
Poorer soils are more radioactive.

Consuming kelp protects the thyroid
by causing less uptake of radioactive iodine.

Nuclear installations are usually far from
populated areas, therefore the chance of
experiencing a chernoble-type disaster is practically nil.
The plan is usually to evacuate people within
a few kilometers of the plant.



IF IT RAINS


Obviously, not all localities are measured for fall-out, 
and some areas will be entirely missed 
(especially in the countryside) 
and people who live there left in ignorance.
What we have learned is we should be on our guard if it 
rains heavily at a time when the radioactive cloud 
is somewhere in the vicinity.

If there is contaminated air in the vicinity, 
we should not go outside, nor drink rainwater, 
and not go for a swim. Animals must be sheltered 
and kept inside for many weeks. This reduces the 
exposure to short-lived radio-isotopes like iodine-131. 
Contamination of food will be a problem where fall-out 
has contaminated the supply of wheat and feed.

Wild vegetation tends to be more efficient at 
concentrating radioactive material than well-fertilized 
domestic crops. Game animals that live on these plants 
are likely to have higher levels of radioactivity 
compared with domestic ones.

Some buildings are more effective in shielding us from 
radiation than are others. The best protection is found 
in an air-tight building, concrete blocks or apartments. 
The traditional wooden structures are less protective. 
If you remain in the area, you might move to a 
prefabricated air tight home.

Filters in an air cleaning system will have to be 
replaced following a radioactive event, and care 
must be taken when changing and disposing of the 
contaminated filters. If iodine tablets were not 
issued, uptake of radio iodine may be lessed 
by consuming kelp.

The main task after a major radiation release 
should not be to hose down vehicles, roads, 
buildings, because that only disperses the 
particles into the soil; the main task is 
to confine the contamination and 
dispose of it at a safe site.

When the source of radioactive contamination is closed and secured, 
the task of collecting fall-out begins. 
The Soviets sprayed a light, sticky plastic film 
over the surface of the ground, which was later 
gathered and disposed. The first few centimeters 
of topsoil have to be taken to a secure landfill site. 
Buildings can be coated with special paint, and roads 
may be tarred to bind radioactive fallout 
for collection and disposal.

Radiation levels in the Ukraine increased over three years 
before returning to May 1986 levels.

As we learned from the Chernoble accident, we can expect, 
measured high radioactivity in livestock to increase 
six months after the initial fall-out. If the initial 
weather conditions are rain when the vented plumes surface 
and reach locales and communities, the levels of radioactive 
caesium in livestock will continue to increase in those areas.
 



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