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The risk of a radiological incident occurring in Cambridgeshire is low. However, with a busy road network, there is always a risk that an incident may occur involving radioactive material. There could also be a radiation release that occurs elsewhere in the UK or in another country. Therefore, it is a good idea to know what do in the event of a radiation emergency.

In the event of such an incident, it is important to go in, stay in and tune in to listen to advice from the emergency services and other professional organisations. You can find up to date information from a number of sources:

Each incident may require specific advice, but general advice will be:

  • Remain calm and follow the latest advice.
  • Quickly check that your neighbours have seen the warnings and then immediately go indoors and stay there.
  • Do not go outside, unless you are told to do so.
  • Keep pets indoors.
  • Close all your doors and windows.
  • Stay as far away from external walls as possible.
  • Switch off fans, close ventilators and put out or damp down open fires or other heating appliances (such as central heating boilers and gas fires) which draw air from outside.
  • Do not use the telephone unless you urgently need help. If you must make a call, please keep it short.
  • Do not leave the area unless advised to do so. You will be much safer indoors.
  • Do not attempt to collect children from school. Teachers and police will look after them and ensure they are safe.

More information and advice about what to do in a radiation emergency is available on the website. 

This is a major contamination incident in the food chain causing illness, hospitalisation and possible fatalities, in a moderate or large number of people over a period of days to a week.

Examples have been Salmonella contamination in chocolate in 2006 and non-UK eggs in 2009 and Botulism cases in Scotland linked to korma sauce in 2011.


Loss of working hours as a result of illness can have a significant economic impact.

There would also be pressure on local healthcare providers such as doctors and hospitals.

What can you do?

Be aware if cases are identified and follow any advice given.

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