Contamination – is the presence of radioactive material in unwanted places (on the skin, in water or on food). It usually can be removed by washing.
Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) – is the area for which planning is done to assure that prompt and effective action is taken to protect the public in an emergency. Please refer to the map.
Exposure – is receiving radiation. Being in contact with or close to radioactive material will result in exposure.
Half-life – is the time required for a radioactive substance to lose one-half its radioactivity. Half-life can vary from minutes to years, depending on the source.
Millirem – a unit used to measure radiation dose to humans.
Potassium Iodide – commonly referred to as KI, is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug that is available without a prescription. KI can be used to protect the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine which may be released under certain emergency conditions at a nuclear power plant. State officials will advise whether KI should be taken in the event of a radiation emergency. People allergic to iodine should not use KI. You may contact your physician to find out if you are allergic to iodine.
Radioactivity – is the property possessed by some elements that give off energy in the form of waves or particles. Radiation may be alpha, beta or gamma.
Alpha particles are the least penetrating. They can be stopped by a sheet of paper.
Beta particles can be stopped by thick cardboard.
Gamma rays are the most penetrating. They are almost the same as x-rays. They can be stopped by heavy shielding such as lead or concrete.
Reception Center – is a facility, located well beyond any danger, at which evacuated people will be registered, checked for contamination and sent to a shelter (if needed).