The potential danger from an accident at a nuclear power plant is exposure to radiation. This exposure could come from the release of radioactive material from the plant into the environment, usually characterized by a plume (cloud-like formation) of radioactive gases and particles.
Know the Terms
Notification of Unusual Event -A small problem has occurred at the nuclear power plant. No radiation leak is expected. No action on your part will be necessary.
Alert- A small problem has occurred and small amounts of radiation could leak inside the plant. This will not affect you and no action is required.
Site Area Emergency- A more serious problem has occurred. Small amounts of radiation could leak from the plant. Area sirens may be sounded. Listen to your local radio or television stations for safety information.
General Emergency- A very serious problem has occurred. Radiation could leak outside the plant and off the plant site. Sirens will sound. Listen to your local radio or television stations for further information and instructions.
Actions to Consider
Things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property from the effects of a nuclear power plant emergency:
Build an Emergency Supply Kit
Minimize your exposure by increasing the distance between you and the source of the radiation. This could be evacuation or remaining indoors to minimize exposure.
Make a Family Emergency Plan
Obtain public emergency information materials from the power company that operates your local nuclear power plant or your local emergency services office. If you live within 10 miles of the power plant, you should receive the materials yearly from the power company or your state or local government.