RADIOLOGICAL INFORMATION FOR FARMERS
get a printed, pamphlet-size copy of these special
instructions, please call the phone number below
and ask for your “Radiological Information
for Farmers” brochure orr e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
to request a copy.
Jersey Office of Emergency Management
1-609-882-2000, ext. 6471
information will help you be prepared in the event
of a nuclear power plant emergency.
are, you'll never need to use this information.
It's not likely that there would be a serious
accident at a nuclear generating station affecting
like other emergency instructions such as first-aid
and CPR it makes good sense to know what to do.
state, county, and local governments have very
specific plans to protect your health and safety.
In an emergency, state officials may ask you to
follow special instructions. These instructions
how to protect your family and your farm would
by broadcast on your Emergency Alert System (EAS)
radio and TV stations.
the likelihood of a serious nuclear power accident
is small. But it is important that you read this
information carefully. Talk it over with your
family. Then keep it in a handy place such as
inside your phone book.
NJ OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
an Accident Should Happen
Farm Animals and Products
Land and Crops
Nuclear Power Plants
information was developed in cooperation with
the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management,
the New Jersey Bureau of Nuclear Engineering and
the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
AN ACCIDENT SHOULD HAPPEN
you are notified of an accident at a nuclear power
plant, do these things:
protect yourself and your family. Don't panic.
Don't listen to rumors.
on your radio. Listen to the Emergency Alert
System (EAS) station. Follow the directions
given. You may be contacted by the County Extention
Service and asked to initiate precautionary
measures for livestock and animals.
may be told to shelter your farm animals. Give
special attention to dairy cattle.
feed and water may need to be protected. Put
the feed into buildings. Cover it if it must
stay outside. Store as much water as possible
for animals. Put covers on your wells, rain
barrels, tanks and other water containers.
own food and water may need to be protected.
Store food and water inside a closed area of
your house. If you bring uncovered food inside,
clean it thoroughly. Eggs, potatoes, melons,
peas, beans, and root crops require normal washing.
Green vegetables should be washed carefully.
Their outer layers should be removed if they
were exposed to radiation. Wash your hands very
well before you eat.
a dust filter over your nose and mouth if you
must plow or cultivate dry land. Also use the
dust filter if you harvest corn.
might a nuclear power plant accident affect my
is not likely to happen, but a serious accident
could release radiation into the air. The radiation
would be in the form of particles and gases. The
wind could carry some of the particles to your
farm. How your farm is affected depends on several
much radiation is released. A small amount may
have no harmful effect. A large amount can cause
weather. A heavy rain could cause more particles
to fall in a given area. Or, strong winds may
spread the particles out, causing less to fall
in a given area.
from the plant. The farther your farm is from
the plant, the less it will be affected. Heavy
particles, those with the most radiation, settle
to the ground quickly. They fall close to the
plant. Lighter particles stay in the air longer
and lose some of their radioactivity. They may
travel as much as 50 miles from the plant.
could happen if the particles reach my farm?
may or may not be harmful. In an emergency, state
and local officials will tell you if there is
danger. They will also tell you how to avoid harmful
effects. It is important to listen to the messages
on your local Emergency Alert System (EAS) station
on your radio or TV.
PLANNING ZONES AND PROTECTIVE ACTIONS
types of emergency planning zones (EPZ) may be
referred to in an emergency:
Plume Exposure Pathway EPZ is the area within
a 10 mile radius around a commercial nuclear
power station in which people may be directly
exposed to radiation.
Ingestion Exposure Pathway EPZ is the area within
a 50 mile radius around a commercial nuclear
power station in which people may be indirectly
exposed to radiation by eating or drinking contaminated
food, milk, and water.
safety of the food supply within the 50 mile ingestion
exposure pathway EPZ could be a concern to members
of the agricultural community if a radiological
release to the atmosphere occurred. During such
a release, both water and land could become contaminated.
Eating contaminated foods and drinking contaminated
milk and water could have a harmful long-term
effect on your health.
and local government emergency response organizations
are prepared to quickly notify and advise the
agricultural community on what actions to take
in the event of a radiological emergency. The
decision to recommend protective actions will
be based on the emergency conditions at the power
station, available information on the amount of
radiation that has been released to the environment,
and consideration of the health, economic, and
social impacts of the proposed actions.
are two types of protective actions that will
help to prevent or lessen the possibility of persons
eating or drinking contaminated food or water:
Protective Actions prevent or minimize contamination
of milk and food products. An example would be
washing, scrubbing, peeling or shelling fruits
and vegetables to remove surface contamination.
Protective Actions isolate or contain food to
prevent its introduction into commerce by condemnation.
FARMLAND AND CROPS
could radiation affect my land ?
depends on the circumstances. Radiation could
contaminate your land. The contamination could
be on the surface. Or it could go deeper into
the soil. If the contamination is severe, you
may not be able to work your land for awhile.
is a word that means harmful amounts of radioactive
particles are present. "External contamination"
means they are outside of something. This happens
when people plants or animals are exposed to radioactive
particles in the air.
contamination" means the particles get inside
the body. This happens when people or animals
eat food or drink liquids that are contaminated.
I get rid of contamination?
yes. External contamination can usually be removed
by washing. Washing does not destroy radiation.
It moves it to a place where it is less harmful.
can be washed with soap and water. If you must
wash animals, wear protective clothing. Clothes
you wear to apply pesticides are best. State officials
will tell you what to do if your buildings are
could radiation affect my crops?
particles could cause external contamination of
your plants. You may not be able to harvest some
ripe fruits and vegetables. Fruit that doesn't
have to be picked right away can be saved. It
can be picked after the contamination is gone.
County agricultural agents will tell you if the
crops are safe.
growing vegetables would be safe to eat?
that have leaves, pods, or fruit can be cleaned
and eaten. Washing is the best way to clean them.
The outer layers of green vegetables should be
removed and thrown away.
and tubers like potatoes and carrots don't absorb
much radiation. Underground crops can be eaten
after normal cleaning or peeling.
the emergency affect my business?
serious accident may affect your business for
several weeks. As mentioned before, you may not
be able to harvest ripe fruits or vegetables.
If there are delays in milk pick-ups, you may
have to throw away milk you can't store. Another
effect might be public reaction. People may not
want to buy products from farms near the power
plant. State officials will tell you how much
contamination your farm experienced. They will
also tell how to market your crops and dairy products.
long could radiation affect my land?
several weeks. After that, most land could go
back to its normal use. State and federal officials
will check your land. They will tell you when
it is safe.
I need soil treatments?
not. Even the most serious accident won't affect
farm land for more than a few weeks. Iodine-131
would be the most troublesome radioactive material
released in an accident. It loses its radioactivity
quickly anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
officials will tell you what to do to the land.
Use soil treatments only if the officials tell
you to do so.
FARM ANIMALS AND PRODUCTS
is it so important to protect dairy animals?
of the materials a nuclear accident could release
is Iodine-131. If a person or animal eats food
or drinks water with Iodine-131 it gets into the
body. Cows with Iodine-131 produce contaminated
milk. Humans can be harmed if they drink the milk
or eat the dairy products. So, protecting your
dairy animals is important. By protecting them,
you keep the supply of dairy products pure. And
you protect people from the harmful Iodine-131.
can I protect my dairy animals? Products?
should do these things to protect your dairy animals:
the animals out of the pasture. Don't let them
them inside if possible.
them only stored food.
them only from protected water supplies.
protected self-feeders and automatic waterers
if you have them.
about other kinds of livestock?
take care of your dairy animals first. Shelter
them. Give them protected feed and water. Other
livestock can be protected the same way. If you
have extra shelter, feed and water, give it to
can be given the same care as other animals. If
they are outside, move them indoors. Give them
protected feed and water.
care of poultry may be less of a problem. They
are usually raised indoors and given stored feed.
This means they are already well protected. Also,
poultry have more resistance to radiation.
AND MARINE LIFE
and other marine life raised in ponds may continue
to be harvested unless appropriate State or local
government officials have determined through laboratory
analysis of samples that they are contaminated.
Samples of water, fish and marine life from open
bodies of freshwater and saltwater should also
be analyzed to ensure that they are safe.
should be stored unused until the State has a
chance to inspect it.
is protected feed?
that has been covered or stored indoors is protected.
Radioactive particles are like dust. A cover stops
them from mixing with the feed.
stored in a permanent bin hay stored in a barn...fodder
stored in a covered silo.
these are examples of protected feed:
haystack in an open field can be protected.
Put a cover on it. Use a tarp, plastic sheet,
or something like that.
rolled bales of hay stored outside should not
be used as feed unless absolutely necessary.
If you must use them, remove the outer layers.
Do not give the outer layers to animals.
let your animals graze. Shelter them if possible.
If you are told to use stored feed and don't
have any, remember that animals can survive
for a long time on water alone.
an emergency, turn to your EAS radio or TV station.
You will be told if you need to use protected
is protected water?
covered well...a tank...a cistern...or a freely
running spring. All these are examples of protected
water. Use this water for your animals.
you use tanks, use all the water that is in the
tanks first. Do not refill them unless the water
comes from a protected well or spring.
in a pond may be contaminated. But the contamination
could decrease quickly. Surface water from a pond
or river should be safe a few days after an accident.
If it rains, the water may be safe sooner.
in an emergency turn to your EAS radio or TV station.
Your will be told if you need to use protected
are feed and water such a concern?
that eat contaminated food or water get radiation
into their bodies. If we eat the meat or products
of these animals, we can get this radiation. By
protecting animals, we also help protect ourselves.
my animals get sick or die?
not likely. Even the most serious accident won't
cause your animals to get sick. There's even less
chance any of them would die.
animal products would be safe to market?
officials will tell you which animal products
are safe. In general, you can follow these guidelines:
not destroy any food products unless they are
spoiled and cannot be eaten.
with external contamination can be used for
food. Before they are slaughtered, they must
be washed and checked by state officials.
with internal contamination cannot be slaughtered
until state officials say they are safe.
may be safe if it comes from protected cows.
State officials will sample milk and milk stations.
They will also take samples from the farms.
You will be told if your milk is contaminated.
if milk pick-ups and deliveries are interrupted?
will receive special instructions from state officials.
You may have to hold milk longer than usual. If
the delays are long, you may have a problem storing
all the milk that is produced. Milk that cannot
be stored or processed may have to be thrown away.
NUCLEAR POWER PLANT ACCIDENTS
a nuclear power plant explode?
That's impossible. An explosion happens when a
large amount of enriched uranium is forced into
a compact shape. Nuclear power plants can't explode
because only about 3% of the fuel is enriched
uranium. And it can't be forced into a compact
shape because of the reactor's design.
about accidents involving the release of radiation?
nuclear plants release some radiation. The amount
is very small. It's controlled. And it's regulated
by the government. In fact, people get more radiation
by watching color TV than they do from a nuclear
what if a serious accident happens?
not likely, but higher amounts of radiation could
be released. How farms are affected depends on
a variety of things. These include: 1) the amount
of radiation released 2) the weather during the
accident 3) distance from the plant. If a serious
accident happens, state officials will tell you
how your farm is affected. The following sections
of this pamphlet give more information about radiation.
is a kind of energy. Heat, light and radio waves
are common types of radiation. Some kinds of radiation
occur naturally. They have been here since the
Earth began. Natural radiation comes from the
air and water. It also comes from the air and
water. It also comes from our food, our homes
and the ground we walk upon. Other kinds of radiation
are man-made. X-rays and radiation from nuclear
plants are examples.
from nuclear plants is made by particles which
come from the center of some kinds of atoms. There
are three kinds. Alpha particles travel about
an inch. They can be stopped by a sheet of paper.
Beta particles travel a few feet. They can be
stopped by an inch of wood. Gamma rays travel
farther. They can be stopped by lead or concrete.
much radiation do we get?
level radiation is measured in a unit called a
millirem. The sun gives us 50 millirems a year.
We get another 50 millirems from air, buildings
and the ground. Our food and water add about 25
more millirems. The average person gets about
125 millirems per year. This amount does not threaten
are other sources of radiation which are man-made.
A person who watches color TV for three hours
a day gets 1.5 millirems a year. Dental and medical
X-rays give another 90 millirems a year. People
who live just outside nuclear plants rarely get
more than 1 additional millirem a year. It would
take 20 years to get as much radiation as in a
single dental X-ray. It would take several lifetimes
to get as much radiation as in a medical X-ray.
does radiation become harmful?
large amounts far above the levels found in daily
life can be harmful. Large amounts can damage
body cells. If the damage is slight, the body
can usually make repairs. But if the damage is
severe, the body may not be able to repair or
effects of radiation on a person depend on a few
things. These include: the kind of radiation;
how long a person is exposed; how much of the
body is exposed; and how much radioactivity remains
in the body.
long can radiation be harmful?
effects of radiation decrease with time. Generally,
they are the greatest during the first few days.
Then they begin to decrease quickly. This happens
because all radioactive materials are unstable.
This means they constantly lose their radioactivity.
In time, they lose all the radioactivity they
had. Some do this quickly in a matter of minutes.
Others take much longer up to thousands of years.
The material most likely to be a problem for farmers
is Iodine-131. It loses its radioactivity quickly.
Most would be gone in a few days.
Jersey State Police
Office of Emergency Management
P.O. Box 7068
West Trenton, New Jersey 08628-0068
information about STATE ACTIVITIES
in New Jersey, call 1-800-792-8314
information about PLANT STATUS,
NJ residents call 1-800-443-7392
Office of Emergency Management
Office of Emergency Management
Office of Emergency Management
Jersey State Police
Office of Emergency Management
P.O. Box 7068
West Trenton, NJ 08628-0068
Bureau of Nuclear Engineering
P.O. Box 415
Trenton, NJ 08625-0415
fire and ambulance
Salem County 911
Cumberland County 911