Taking shelter

If radioactive substances are released, taking shelter is a measure that consists of temporarily sheltering in the closest house or building. Any doors, windows and shutters must be closed and if possible heating, ventilation systems, air conditioning and air regulators switched off.

If applicable, the rainwater collection system must also be shut off.

These actions can minimise the amount of radioactive release entering the building.

As an emergency protective measure, taking shelter is very effective during the radioactive release phase. The walls and roof of a solid enclosed building screen the human body from external rays.

Depending on the type of building, the radiation dose inside is much lower than that outside. You are advised to remain in the lower rooms (ground floor, cellar) of the building.

Rooms without windows or with very small windows should be given priority.

The authorities decide to ask the population to take shelter in regions that could be affected by the release of radioactive substances if people are likely to be exposed to levels that exceed the reference level of 10 millisieverts (effective dose).

The shelter period is limited and it is generally believed it should not exceed two days, or 48 hours.

The population will be informed of the start and end of the shelter period, along with the zones affected via this website and the media.


... is not sufficient protection from irradiation.

Cars, buses and lorries...

... do not offer sufficient protection either.

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