Logo South Asian Disaster Knowledge Network
Site Search Google   GO
Bullet Nuclear Disaster
Home » Man Made Disasters » Nuclear Disaster

Responding to nuclear or radiological emergency

The emergency actions will focus on reducing the effects of immediate effect that shall comprise- fire, destruction, damaged vegetation, dead, wounded human beings and animals, psychological phobia. This demands judicious planning, and multifaceted preparations that shall include store management, training, communication and command, etc surmount the nuclear emergency. Urgent and long term protective actions are needed.

Urgent Actions:

These are to be taken before or immediately after release of radioactivity into the environment. These actions include

  • Entry Control:
    It is paramount to prevent entry of non-essential persons in the contaminated areas. It shall be depending on terrain's radiometric assessment.
  • Sheltering:
    Purpose shall be reduce radiation dose. Ask people to stay indoor after closing all windows, doors, air conditioners, etc.
  • Evacuation:
    Leaving off of the person from the targeted zone to reduce exposure to radiations
  • Thyroid Blocking:
    When release of radioiodine is suspected, Potassium Iodide tablet KI (130 mg)/KIO3 (170 mg tablet) should be taken/administered preferably within 6 hours after incidence and to be continued if there is fear of the contamination
  • Contamination Monitoring:
    People, terrain, air, water, objects, etc to be checked for contamination and suitable decontamination operation to be undertaken
  • Medical Aid:
    Specialized medical intervention would be required for taking care of the wounds/burns.
  • Food Control:
    To prevent ingestion of radioisotopes into the body
  • Temporary Relocation, Resettlement, Permanent Relocation:
    It has to be undertaken at the appropriate time to avoid harmful exposure. The limits shall be chosen by the National Authority.

Psychological Care:

Post nuclear disaster, there will be An atmosphere of grief, sorrow, anxiety, fear, compassion, concern which will need psychosocial interventions.

Personal Decontamination and Decorporation:

Radioactivity can not be destroyed. Protection from radioactivity is possible by remaining at distance from the source or keeping some barrier in between. Restrict entry in the clean area only to radioactivity free personnel, stores, etc. Dry contamination should preferably remove dry and wet in the wet form Remove protective clothing, boots, gloves, etc. Lives saving interventions get priority over decontamination. Wounds should be cleaned, decontaminated and properly taped Monitor radioactivity on body surface and decontaminate hot spots first.

For decontamination use- Water; soap; soap+EDTA; soap+citric acid; soap+oxalic acid; sodium bi-carbonate; dilute hydrochloric acid solution; diethylene-triamine-pentaacetic-acid (DTPA) solution; saturated potassium permanganate solution in 0.2 N sulphuric acid for 2 minutes followed by washing with water and then with 10% sodium bisulphite solution. Finally with water. All washings and swabs should be kept in the protected container. Take some exercise so that perspiration makes the contaminants loose. Take bath with soap and water, shampoo hair and clean nails. Monitor for ingested and inhaled activity If exists report to specialist. Drink ample of liquid water, juices, tea and coffee.


Use the recommended Radioprotectors that reduce damage to tissues due to ionizing radiations. Administration of following easily available preparations shall work as Radioprotectors. Before entering into the area contaminated with fall out activities, it is advised to consume the following :

  • Potassium iodide (130 mg) or Potassium iodate (170-mg) one tablet Vitamin-C 500 mg one Tablet.
  • Vitamin-E one tablet/capsule.
  • Zinc + Vitamins + minerals one capsule Calcium tablets.

Adherence to above precautionary measures will be highly helpful to' minimize the exposure to radiological effects. The fear of nuclear winter is not true, it may occur if all devices available in the world are burst at a time

Weekly Disaster Updates
Software Developed by Tata Consultancy Services Limited. Copyright © 2009 SADKN, All Rights Reserved                     
  Concurrent Users:
Number of hits: