Background Radiation - Radiation from natural radioactive materials in the environment. Includes solar and cosmic radiation and radioactive materials in the upper atmosphere, the ground, building materials, and the human body. The level of normal background radiation in southwest Michigan is about 100 millirems per year.

Congregate Care Center - A public or private building that may be used to lodge or care for evacuees.

Department of Homeland Security/FEMA - An agency of the federal government. It is responsible for coordinating state and local government plans to prepare for, lessen impacts of, and respond to emergencies of any kind.

Dose - A term which, when applied to radiation, describes the amount of energy absorbed in body tissue (see millirem).

Emergency Alert System (EAS) - This is a national public warning system that allows TV and radio broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service providers, direct broadcast satellite service providers and wireline video service providers to permit state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information such as AMBER (missing children) alerts, emergency weather information, and specific hazard information, such as for a nuclear power plant emergency, targeted to a specific area.

Emergency Operation Center (EOC) - A place where state and local government officials manage the response to an emergency. It is usually a police or sheriff’s building equipped with backup power, telephone and radio.

Emergency Planning Zones (EPZ) - The zones around the Palisades plant. The primary EPZ, with a radius of 10 miles, is established to control airborne radiation exposure. The secondary zone, with a radius of 50 miles, has been established to keep people and animals from eating contaminated food. For these two zones, emergency actions could be ordered for your protection. Please refer to the map.

Functional Needs - The needs of an individual who under usual circumstances is able to function on their own or with support systems. However, during an emergency, their level of independence is challenged.

Joint Information Center (JIC) - The place where news reporters receive official information on a nuclear plant accident from government and utility officials. Rumor control response and public inquiry information are provided to the public by telephone.

Millirem - A unit used to measure radiation doses. It is 1/1,000th of a rem (Roentgen Equivalent Man), a unit of radiation that measures impact on human cells.

NRC - U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal agency that regulates the nuclear industry.

Potassium Iodide (KI) - A non-radioactive form of iodine that may be taken to reduce the amount of radioactive iodine absorbed by the body’s thyroid gland.

Protective Actions - Emergency measures that are taken to prevent or minimize radiation exposure.

Radiation - Energy in the form of rays or particles which are given off by radioactive material. May consist of alpha, beta or gamma.

Radioactive Material - Material that spontaneously gives off energy in the form of waves or particles.

Reception Center - A school at least 15 miles from the plant for registration of evacuees and assignment of people to a congregate care center during an emergency.

Shielding - Material, such as lead or concrete, used to stop or reduce direct exposure to radiation by blocking it. The building materials of your house could act as partial shielding against direct radiation from a passing radioactive cloud if you were told to take shelter. The greater the amount of shielding between you and the source of radiation, the lower your exposure.

Temporary Host Facility - A school used to temporarily hold children who have been evacuated from schools within the 10 mile EPZ.

Back to Top