What is Nuclear Pollution?
Earth has provided so many resources to us. What are we giving in return? As it is said to give and take, the Earth can kick back for some time what we do for her. Uncovering resources is not only what we do, we also pollute the planet so deeply and badly. Let us now see what nuclear pollution and its effects are.
Radiation is a term for waves caused by electromagnetism and high-energy particles.
Famous electromagnetic waves are radio waves, light, infrared rays, UV rays, X rays, gamma rays. They are well known and extensively used in the fields of communication, industry, medicine, and research.
Radioactive materials consist of high-energy particles that are small pieces of matter that move at high speeds releasing nuclear radiation. There are about 50 naturally occurring radioactive materials and over 2000 man-made ones. There are three types of radioactive radiation – alpha particle, beta particle, and gamma radiation.
Another type of radiation that we encounter every day is cosmic radiation. It is the radiation that reaches us from outer space but is largely filtered by the layers of atmosphere that surround our earth
Pollution of the atmosphere by radiation and radioactive particles is called nuclear pollution.
Causes of Nuclear Pollution
Most activities involving radioactive substances have the potential to contaminate the environment. Contains
1. Nuclear weapons test
Beginning with the Second World War when the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were defeated by Japan after the use of atomic bombs, countries are in the race to develop their nuclear weapons in the name of defense, but more threat to rival countries is.
They were led by America, Russia, Britain, France, and China. Nowadays n. Korea, Iran, and many developing countries are equipped to make these weapons.
Weapons testing involves explosions called an atmospheric layer called the stratosphere. The debris from the explosion then comes back to Earth as radiation. Some radiation is absorbed by our atmosphere.
But some part of it reaches the falling earth at places that are far away from the place where the weapon was initially released. This is called Fallout. When these particles settle on vegetation and are eaten by animals, they enter the food chain.
When the fallout settles over the sea, the ocean ecosystem is affected and re-enters the food chain.
2. Nuclear Power plants
Rapid nuclear energy from radioactive fuels is used to heat water into steam. Steam is then used to turn on the turbines which in turn act as generators to produce electricity. A small amount of radiation is released into the water during this process, which can then be the cause of nuclear pollution.
3. Improper Disposal of Spent Nuclear fuel.
Spent nuclear fuel consists of very active radioactive atoms that sometimes last for about 600yrs or more. These should be dealt with very carefully, with strict rules in well-specified locations.
But the fact is that many governments approve the dumping of nuclear fuel from their country as much as possible. The popular dumping ground of many countries was the Pacific Ocean.
Greenpeace, an organization dedicated to preserving the environment and protecting the Earth from pollution, has noted this activity and has opposed it enthusiastically.
Some plants spent fuel in underground water pools because they release a high amount of heat and need to be cooled. There is always a danger of contaminating the groundwater and the surrounding land, seeping into the nearby land.
A small-scale radioactive waste generated in clinical imaging in the health sector.
4. Accident/damage to Nuclear Power Plants
This was the most famous Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Russia in 1986. The result of this accident was felt in three countries – Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. The area around the reactor is still polluted and not suitable for habitat or farming.
On March 11, 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident was another recent accident. The main reactors and supplementary generators were severely damaged due to the tsunami earthquake.
Inadequate preparation to deal with an incident of this scale was also a factor that leads to the hydrogen explosion and the leakage of radioactive material into groundwater.
Effects of Nuclear Pollution
- The effect of nuclear pollution is seen on every organism in the environment, from bacteria to plants to humans. Nothing spared.
- Experience radiation sickness, closest to and closest to the source. In small doses of 75–200 reams. One experiences vomiting, fatigue, and loss of appetite. There is a high risk of 300 REM and more changes in blood cells and bleeding. There is the loss of hair above 600 REM, immune loss usually ranges from a few days to weeks. Radiation causes changes in the body’s cell and gene structure, such as the bone marrow, skin, intestine, lymphoid tissue, and fetus.
- Those exposed from far away may not see any immediate symptoms. But various forms of cancer tend to develop and have a shorter life span. Radiation also causes cell mutations that can be transferred to the next generation.
- The fetus is affected by birth defects and cancer. Their lifespan may also be shorter.
- Plants die and show some genetic changes and enhanced growth. Animals are also affected and do not survive very long.
- Radiation will not dissolve quickly in the atmosphere. Every water source will also be affected. In fact, it may take years or centuries to reach a point where such a place may be habitable.
- An average person will be exposed to about 180 milliliters of radiation a year through exposure to natural radiation, medical and dental X-rays, color TV, airport baggage X-rays, etc.
Prevention of Nuclear pollution
- The right safety gear, such as a lead apron, must be worn while undergoing X-rays or radiation therapy procedures. It also includes pregnant women. It is also mandatory to use lead sheathed walls in imaging facilities.
- As a person, one should be aware of the dangers of nuclear pollution. If living in the vicinity of a nuclear plant or planning someone’s planning, the person’s authority should be exercised to ensure that the governing body for the manufacture, implementation, and disposal of waste is fully planned Have been. Ensure that officers are prepared in the event of a disaster so that they can handle all situations such as arranging evacuation to avoid contamination.
- Workers are always monitored for the amount of radiation they were exposed to while working at a radiation facility or a nuclear plant.
- Radioactive waste can actually be recycled to a great extent as useable fuel is still being made into useless materials that can later be reclaimed.
- Governments are authorizing research on developing better means for the disposal of radioactive waste. The most viable method now appears to be deep underground storage of waste.
- Power plants must ensure that radioactive fuel and waste are transported and disposed of in safe containers that are long-lasting and unbreakable.
- Operating agencies need to ensure that radioactive material does not fall into the wrong hands, which they sell for profit to those in the waging war business.
Nuclear power is a clean source of energy, cheap and widespread. With a small amount of fuel, large amounts of energy can be generated. Although there have been mistakes in the past and misuse of this energy, there is still a lot of potential for this. Any well-thought-out effort must be supported by good research, a well-crafted plan, and appropriate backup plans for any failures. Protection of the environment and people should always come first.