Terms and expressions used throughout this document are defined as follows:
Access control: The process of restricting access into the affected zone to emergency workers and other permitted individuals only.
Activation: Usually the first phase of the response to a nuclear emergency, which consists of bringing together members of the National Support Structure.
Designated Officials: Federal personnel designated by their department or agency to either represent their organization or to serve in a supporting role within the National Support Structure.
Emergency function: General subject area which groups actions that may be taken by a primary and a number of supporting departments or agencies in the preparedness phase or in the response phase of an emergency.
Emergency management organization: An organization, activated when a nuclear plan or "all-hazards" emergency plan is implemented, which is responsible for coordinating the response to a nuclear emergency.
Emergency planning zone: A defined zone around a nuclear facility for which detailed planning and preparations are made in advance to ensure that appropriate protective measures can be applied in a timely and accurate manner. These include the ingestion and plume exposure emergency planning zones.
Emergency support function: General subject area which groups actions that may be taken by a primary department or agency and where the focus is exclusively on providing support to provinces in the response phase of an emergency.
Emergency worker: Persons performing emergency services who are required to remain in, or to enter, offsite areas affected or likely to be affected by radiation from an accident, and for whom special safety arrangements are required. They may include police, firefighters, ambulance and emergency social services workers, and other essential services.
Evacuation: The rapid removal of people from an area to avoid or reduce high-level, short-term exposure to a hazard.
Federal Coordination Officer: The senior official designated by Health Canada or the Lead Federal Minister for the response, to provide liaison and coordinate support between the provincial emergency operations centre and the National Support Centre.
Federal Liaison Officers: The federal officials who are responsible for ensuring liaison between a provincial group (e.g., coordination group, information group, technical group), the corresponding group in the National Support Centre, and federal regional resources.
Federal Regional Organization: The component of the National Support Structure composed of all federal regional representatives located in the affected province(s) and directly involved in providing support to the province or carrying out response actions in a province.
Food Control: Measures taken to prevent the consumption of foodstuffs that have been radioactively contaminated above acceptable levels as a result of a nuclear emergency, including the supply of uncontaminated foodstuffs.
Implementation of the FNEP: Bringing into force the provisions of the Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan as the basis for coordination of actions and related expenditures at the federal level in response to a nuclear emergency
Ingestion exposure emergency planning zone: A defined zone around a nuclear facility for which detailed planning and preparations are made in advance to ensure that appropriate measures against exposure from ingestion of radioactive material can be applied in a timely and accurate manner.
International Nuclear Event Scale (INES): A scale to promptly and consistently communicate to the public the safety significance of reported events at nuclear installations. Develop jointly by jointly by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Intervention: Any action or provision beyond normal procedures undertaken to manage the emergency and mitigate its impacts, including all emergency organization structures, response actions, communications and public information and directives.
Lead Federal Minister/Department: The federal Minister and Department designated by the Prime Minister of Canada, or as indicated in the Federal Policy for Emergencies , to prepare arrangements and coordinate national activities to provide support to a province, and to coordinate the activities of the federal departments and agencies involved. For nuclear emergencies, the designated Lead Federal Department is Health Canada.
National Coordinator: A senior federal official designated by Health Canada responsible for implementing the Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan and overseeing activities of the National Support Structure during the response phase of a nuclear emergency.
National Support Structure: The organization which is responsible for coordinating the federal response to a nuclear emergency. It may be activated either prior to or following implementation of the Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan.
National Support Centre: The operations centre of the federal emergency operating groups located in the National Capital Region and established to coordinate national support to the affected provinces and activities under federal jurisdiction. It is operated by the Lead Federal Department, and is a component of the National Support Structure.
Notification: A punctual action by which a specific individual or an organization is formally informed of a critical decision or action. An example would be a notification that the Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan has been implemented. It should not be confused with reporting which has specific and separate meaning.
Nuclear emergency: Any event which has led or could lead to a radiological threat to public health and safety, property, and or the environment.
Nuclear emergency function: Subject area which groups actions specifically related to a nuclear emergency that may be taken by primary and/or supporting departments or agencies in the response phase of a nuclear emergency.
Nuclear facility: A nuclear reactor, sub-critical nuclear reactor, research reactor, or plant for the separation, processing, reprocessing or fabrication of fissionable substances from irradiated fuel. It also includes all land, buildings and equipment that are connected or associated with these reactors or plants.
Nuclear powered vessel: A marine vessel whose main propulsion system is driven by a nuclear reactor.
Off-site: The area outside the boundary of a nuclear facility. The municipal, provincial and federal levels of government are responsible for off-site emergency planning, preparedness and response.
On-site: The area inside the boundary of a nuclear facility, also called the exclusion area. The operators of nuclear facilities are responsible for on-site emergency planning, preparedness and response.
Plume: A cloud of airborne radioactive material that is transported from a nuclear or radiological source in the direction of the prevailing wind.
Plume exposure emergency planning zone: A defined zone around a nuclear facility for which detailed planning and preparations are made in advance to ensure that appropriate measures against exposure to a radioactive plume (such as sheltering and evacuation) can be applied in a timely and accurate manner.
Protective measure: Measure taken to reduce radiation doses which could be incurred by the population or emergency workers during a nuclear emergency. Sometimes called countermeasure or protective action.
Provincial Emergency Measures Organization: The organization which is responsible for off-site emergency planning, preparedness and response in a specific province.
Provincial emergency operations centre: In the province directly affected by the emergency, a centre operated by a provincial emergency management organization which coordinates the emergency operations at the provincial level.
Provincial information centre: In the province directly affected by the emergency, a centre operated by a provincial emergency management organization which handles the provision of emergency information to the media and the public.
Primary department or agency: A federal institution assigned primary responsibility to manage and coordinate one or more emergency functions.
Recovery phase: The phase during which activities focus on restoration of quality of life, social systems, economies, community infrastructures, and the environment. This phase may last up to several years after the emergency.
Relocation: A non-urgent removal or continued exclusion of people from contaminated areas to avoid chronic radiation exposure.
Reporting: Term referring to the act of informing a specific authority of a given event or situation in accordance with specific regulatory requirements or equivalent criteria.
Response phase: The phase during which activities focus on saving human life, on treating the injured, contaminated and overexposed persons, and on preventing and minimizing further health effects and other forms of impacts. This phase may last from a few hours to several weeks after the commencement of the emergency and would be followed by a recovery phase, as necessary.
Sheltering: The use of a structure for protection from an airborne plume and/or deposited materials. The structure can attenuate radiation from radioactive materials deposited on the ground and reduce exposure to airborne plumes.
Supporting department or agency: A federal institution designated to assist a specific primary department or agency in the delivery of one or more emergency functions. In a nuclear emergency, this includes federal departments and agencies which have resources or expertise which may become necessary to support the government response, or which may need information regarding the emergency in order to carry out their own departmental responsibilities.
Task Team: A group of specialists from more than one department/agency who work closely together during the response phase in order to carry out a very specific task (e.g., dose prediction). A Task Team reports to a specific group of the National Support Centre (i.e., Coordination and Operations Group, Public Affairs Group or Technical Advisory Group).
Termination: The process of terminating the provisions under the Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan at the end of the emergency response phase, and transition to the recovery phase.
Thyroid blocking agent: A substance which prevents or reduces the uptake of radioactive iodine by the thyroid. Usually stable potassium iodide (KI) is taken orally for this purpose.
Urgent protective actions: Actions that must be taken promptly in order to be effective, and the effectiveness of which will be markedly reduced if delayed. They include evacuation, sheltering, and administration of thyroid blocking agent.