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Radiological Materials Transportation Accident Emergency Action Plan

The Radiological Materials Transportation Accident Emergency Action Plan was developed by the State Nuclear Waste Transportation Working Group which consists of representatives from:

The Governor's Policy Research Office (Chair)
The Department of Health and Human Services Regulation and Licensure
The Nebraska Public Service Commission (Rail)
The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency
The Nebraska State Patrol

In Nebraska, local governments are responsible for the health, welfare, and safety of their citizens. This plan was designed to support the local government(s) affected by transportation accident/incident involving radioactive materials.

The plan serves as a guide for state agencies and to provide guidelines to assist local planners. It provides an effective means for state agencies to interface with local governments in response to any transportation accident/incident involving radioactive materials which are transported through Nebraska. The plan also provides reasonable assurance that government efforts will be directed towards mitigating the consequences of such accidents/incidents, and that appropriate measures will be taken to protect health and safety as well as prevent damage to property. Further, it delineates responsibilities and provides for cooperation and coordination of state agencies with local governments and their agencies, to include coordination with other states in an effective response to accidents/incidents involving radioactive materials throughout Nebraska.

If a transportation accident/incident involving radioactive materials does occur in Nebraska, the initial actions and notification which should occur are as follows:

The First Responders:

  • Provide first aid to the injured.
  • Zone and secure the area, keeping all unauthorized personnel away from the accident to the extent possible with resources at hand.
  • Determine if other hazardous materials are present, which hazards are greater, and take such actions as necessary to reduce the dangers and damage presented by the greater hazard.
  • Stay upwind of the accident.
  • Obtain the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all persons involved.
  • Detain non-injured persons involved with the accident until they are
    monitored and found clean of any contamination.
  • Take defensive actions as necessary such as building cofferdams to prevent possible run-off of radioactive materials and/or other hazardous materials.

When a local government's initial responding agency receives a report of an accident or incident involving radioactive materials, the following procedure and notification should be implemented:

  • The local government's initial responding agency will request as much information as possible from the reporting party as to the type of accident, injuries, road blockage, fire, spilled cargo, etc. for the Incident Report.
  • Concurrently, the local government's responding agency will dispatch emergency response personnel and notify the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) in Lincoln at (402) 471-4545.

Note: It is critical that the NSP in Lincoln be given the name and callback telephone number of a First Responder who has information pertaining to the accident/incident. The First Responder should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Caller's identification, i.e., name, location, callback telephone number (if changed).
  • Location and description of the accident/incident.
  • Why does the First Responder think a radiation source or radiation hazard is involved?
  • Has the accident/incident area been isolated? Barricaded? Roped off? Otherwise restricted to prevent public entry?
  • Name of the person, trucking company, manufacturing plant, doctor's office, etc., associated with or cause of the incident/accident.
  • What kind of radiation source is involved? (radioactive material, X-ray, weapons, other)
  • Any indication of the quantity of radioactive material or size of radiation source involved? (amount, size of packages, quantity identified on package labels, paperwork, etc.)
  • What type of package(s) is the radioactive material/source contained in? (55 gallon drums, boxes, vials, casks, etc.)
  • Any measurements taken from radiation detection instruments? Who took the measurements? (name agency and telephone number at the responder location)
  • The NSP in Lincoln will contact the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) at (402) 471-7421 with the above information.
  • NEMA will then contact all state agencies possibly needed to provide assistance, beginning with the concurrent notification of the Governor and Department of Health and Human Services Regulation and Licensure.
  • If the local government's responding agencies dispatched to the scene, do not have trained personnel and radiological detection instruments, the closest available personnel trained in radiological monitoring and instruments will be located either through the local Emergency Management/Civil Defense Director or through NEMA, and brought to the scene by the most expeditious manner.

These, in a nutshell, are the initial actions that should take place in the event of a radiological accident/incident. For a detailed look at the plan, you may download it in either the Microsoft Word or PDF format.


Last Updated: 11 October 2017