A notable disaster that most people may know of is the Chernobyl accident in Ukraine, which took place in the spring of 1986. A sudden surge of power had destroyed unit 4 of the power plant station, which in turn caused a fire, releasing massive amounts of radioactivity into the surrounding area.
The Chernobyl Meltdown
According to Wikipedia: "The Chernobyl disaster was caused by a nuclear accident that occurred on Saturday 26 April 1986, at the No. 4 reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat in the north of the Ukrainian SSR. It is considered the worst nuclear disaster in history and was caused by one of only two nuclear energy accidents rated at seven - the maximum severity - on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan."
"The accident started during a safety test...the test was a simulation of an electrical power outage to aid the development of a safety procedure for maintaining reactor cooling water circulation until the back-up electrical generators could provide power. This gap was about one minute and had been identified as a potential safety problem that could cause the nuclear reactor core to overheat. It was hoped to prove during a scheduled reactor power-down that the residual rotational energy in a turbine generator could provide enough power to cover the gap. Three such tests had been conducted since 1982, but they had failed to provide a solution. On this fourth attempt, an unexpected 10-hour delay meant that an unprepared operating shift was on duty...A fire gradually released about the same amount of contamination as the initial explosion. As a result of rising ambient radiation levels off-site, a 10-kilometre (6.2 mi) radius exclusion zone was created 36 hours after the accident. About 49,000 people were evacuated from the area, primarily from Pripyat...
"To reduce the spread of radioactive contamination from the wreckage and protect it from weathering, the protective Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant sarcophagus was built by December 1986."
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of ways to prepare for a nuclear power plant emergency. The construction and operation of nuclear power plants are closely monitored by the NRC, or, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. However, that doesn’t guarantee that accidents won’t happen.
Roughly 3 million people live within ten miles of a nuclear power plant in America, and keep themselves safe by staying well informed - they listen to updates and follow the EAS instructions as they are given.
There are a few other steps that can be taken to protect yourself and your family when disaster strikes. Here are a few of those steps you can take today.
If there is an active emergency, you may want to take the following steps to stay safe. Never leave a pet behind in an emergency, and take all warnings seriously.
Once you have retreated to your shelter, stay there until the authorities have deemed it safe to return to your home - after a nuclear power plant emergency you should consider the following advice.
It’s normal to experience anxiety during and after a nuclear power plant emergency - and completely within reason to reach out for help. Mental health is just as important as your physical health.
Stress isn’t good for anyone - animals, children, and adults alike. There are many different ways that stress and anxiety can present itself, and thankfully there are many different ways to cope, too.
Try the following activities after you and your family are no longer in danger to attempt to cope with the stress.
Self-care can mean many things - and self-care can be practiced just about anywhere. You can take a moment for yourself by doing any of the following.
Remember to be there for others who have gone through the same trauma as you - everyone processes differently. Try to be supportive and comforting to those who express their fear through tears.
Emergency Plan (ready.gov)
Emergency Contact Info (ready.gov)
Emergency Plan for Schools (ready.gov)
The gear you'll need to survive. The gear you'll need for evacuation is exactly the same as what you might need when you're staying home to weather out the storm.
You never know when you may need to evacuate your home, and it’s important to not waste time grabbing supplies. Keep an emergency to go bag at the ready somewhere you can easily access it.
Fill your emergency kit with the following - feel free to add or take away items as you please. You may want to consider keeping some emergency supplies in your car or other vehicle.
Emergency hand crank/solar powered energy source, radio, LED flashlightBuy on Amazon
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