Preparedness to Emergencies in Lithuania - How to behave in the event of an accident in the nuclear power plant?

How to behave in the event of an accident in the nuclear power plant?

How to behave in the event of an accident in the nuclear power plant?

If there was an accident in the nuclear power plant, residents would be informed by sirens, later by radio and television they could receive precise information and advice about how to act. State agencies have prepared the State Plan of Public Protection in Case of Nuclear or Radiological Accident by which residents’ protection shall be organized. However, people should take responsibility for their own safety and know how to behave in such an accident.



How to prepare food stocks?

  • Before placed in refrigerators, food should be put into tightly sealed containers, jars, metal boxes, or plastic packages;
  • Potatoes and vegetables should be placed in boxes coated with paper, cellophane, polyethylene film or an oilcloth and covered with a tarpaulin or another thick fabric;
  • Drinking water should be stored in tightly sealed thermoses, jars, cans etc.

How to prepare basic protective measures for the respiratory system?

In the event of an accident in the nuclear power plant, the environment may be contaminated with radioactive substances which spread or settle on the land surface. In order to prevent from radioactive substances, it is important to take proper care of respiratory tract protection.  Residents shall be informed about measures to take for respiratory tract protection through radio and television.

Protection from radioactive substances may include using all types of gas-masks and respirators, yet it is also possible to use self-made safety devices - bandages made of cotton wool and a layer of gauze - that will provide sufficient protection from radioactive substances.

A bandage is prepared in the following way:

  • A layer of cotton wool that is 2 centimetres thick and has an area of 30x20 centimetres is placed in the middle of a strip of gauze or other available fabric 1 meter in length and 0.5 metre in width;
  • Edges of the gauze are folded on cotton wool (about 30–35 cm) and cut in the middle so that it had two ties from each edge;
  • The bottom ends of the dressing are tied at the top of one’s head, and the top ends are tied at the back of the head;
  • If you do not have cotton wool or gauze, a towel folded in several layers, a kerchief, or a strip of fabric will also be suitable;
  • Note that once used these safety devices are unsuitable for further use.

Various types of special suits for body protection are available, but they are usually used by workers eliminating the consequences of an accident. Residents can wear coats, jackets, raincoats, polyethylene cloaks etc. Yet, it is necessary to fasten all the buttons or other fasteners, put up collars, and put on rubber or leather gloves. Rubber footwear offers the best protection for feet.

Iodine prophylaxis

Iodine is used to protect the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine. Start to use iodine tablets only when it is announced through mass media.

Iodine prophylaxis shall be applied only when the Ministry of Health recommends it to directors of municipal administrations. After receiving recommendations from the Ministry of Health, directors of municipal administrations shall inform residents through mass media.

Iodine is used to protect the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine. For the protection it is advisable to use tablets of potassium iodide (KI). When they are not available, 5% tincture of iodine may be sufficient.

Single daily dose of stable iodine preparations for various groups of people may be different:

  • Children above the age of 12 years old and adults should take 2 tablets;
  • Children from 3 to 12 years old should be given one tablet;
  • Babies from 1 month to 3 years old should be given ½ tablet;
  • Newborns up to 1 month should be given ¼ tablet.

Important to note that newborns up to 1 years old, pregnant or breastfeeding women should take onetime iodine dosage (i.e. iodine should be taken once with regard to age group).  Residents of other age groups should take a few onetime dosages, but not more than 10.

Onetime iodine dosage protects thyroid for 24 hours.

It is recommended to consume iodine tablets after meal. Children may consume it dissolved in a drink or liquid food. Dissolved tablets should be consumed immediately since they may become inactive quite fast.

If there is no possibility to consume iodine tablets, it is possible to consume 5% iodine solution which may be used as such:

  • Children up to 2 years old should take 1-2 drops of 5% iodine solution 3 times per day, but no longer than for 7 days;
  • Children from 2 years old and adults should take 3-5 drops of 5% iodine solution 3 times per day, but no longer than for 7 days. 

If you receive the instruction to stay at home:

  • Sealing of the building is essential. Close all the doors, windows and air vents. Cover chimneys, ventilation and other openings and slots. Do not forget about balcony doors. After you tightly close all possible spots, windows and doors should be pasted with paper and polymeric tapes. Plastic windows or balcony doors are very tight, so additional sealing is not needed.
  • It is recommended to hide in the basement. However, if there is no such possibility, then you should keep the middle of the building and avoid exterior walls or attic. Do not forget to take your pets together.
  • Prepare food stocks and measures for protecting respiratory tract.
  • Keep radio and television on since it will provide the newest information and recommendations on how to behave.

In case of evacuation

If there is a threat of an emergency or if an emergency occurs, residents who live in a radius of 30 kilometres from Belarus Nuclear Power Plant or Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant will be informed through radio or television about the evacuation. Prepare all necessary items that you will take when leaving.

Necessary items to take:

  • Documents – birth certificate and/or marriage certificate, passports/ID, diplomas and certificates, driving license, insurance, property deeds;
  • Family mementos, photos of relatives (in case of search);
  • Money (cash, credit cards, securities) and jewelry (disjoint and hide among other things);
  • Mobile phone with phone charger;
  • Pocket torch with spare batteries;
  • Portable radio with spare batteries;
  • Aid for vision (glasses, contact lenses) or hearing aids;
  • First aid kit, daily taken medication and all necessary medicaments for each family member;
  • Food and water supplies poured into small bottles for 3 days;
  • Extra food, in case of special needs;
  • Tin-opener;
  • Baby food, diapers, wet wipes;
  • Toys and/or books for children;
  • Clothes (considering the season);
  • Toiletries (towel, soap, toothbrush, toilet-paper etc.);
  • Warm blanket and/or compact sleeping bag;
  • Dust mask;
  • Matches packed it a water resistant box;
  • Pencil and paper;
  • Notebook (with written phone numbers and addresses);
  • Cigarettes (in certain situations might be used in exchange).

Residents living in a radius of 5 kilometres from the Nuclear Power Plant shall be evacuated as soon as there is a threat of an emergency, regardless of whether an emergency occurs or it is possible to avoid it.

For residents living in a radius of 30-100 kilometres from the Nucear Power Plant there may be a need for a temporal resettlement (this measure is not that urgent as evacuation).

In case of such emergencies, it is recommended to have Emergency Supply Kit prepared in advance. The Emergency Supply Kit should be kept in an accessible place which is known for all family members so that it could be easily found:

  • All the items should be put in suitcases, travelling bags and backpacks in an orderly manner;
  • Attach a card with your first name and surname to each bag which is taken.

Avoiding radioactive substances to get inside, residents who evacuate by using their own transportation should:

  • Keep closed windows of the vehicle;
  • Turn off ventilation system.

Keep in mind your neighbours: particularly disabled persons and elderly people. Ensure that they have heard the announcements. Ensure somebody can take care of them; if nobody is available to offer them any necessary assistance – try to help them or call emergency number 112.

Take your pets together. Farmers will be informed about livestock as well.

Before leaving home, turn off all electrical devices, tightly close windows and doors. Basically, carry out all actions which are taken before leaving home for a few days.

Try to stay calm.

If you are able to live for 72 hours without external aid, then you are prepared for the evacuation.

For farmers

  • The most reliable way to protect livestock is to drive them into sealed sheds or shelters.
  • Cracks in the shelter should be sealed with clay or a cement mortar, doors and windows covered with sheets. Where there are no frames or windows, openings should be filled with brick or bags of soil, some windows can be covered with wooden shields.
  • Insert elementary filters made of sacking, sawdust, hay or moss into ventilation channels.
  • Cover wells, troughs and all the vessels for cattle feeding with dense covers made of wood or other materials.
  • You should prepare enough fodder and water for 5 to 7 days in the building where the livestock are to be kept.
  • Fodder stored outdoors must be covered with a tarpaulin, a sheet of plastic, a layer of straws or small branches not less than 15 centimetres thick.
  • Water should be stored in any sealed vessels – cisterns, barrels, tanks or vats.


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