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Nuclear Waste and Radiation

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Introduction

Nuclear Waste and Radiation Nuclear Radiation is the emanation of energy waves that are passed through space and any physical objects. From ultra violet rays from the sun, x-rays, transmission signals that are send to televisions and radios, are all part of the nuclear radiation, that are all common in our daily life. Although, if nuclear radiation gets exposed, or gets uncontrollable, it could harm human beings or any living thing for the matter. To this date, scientists fear that exposures of nuclear radiation could cost the lives of innocence and increase the risks of getting cancer. Since nuclear radiation has been developed and used to create atomic bomb and nuclear weapons, nuclear radiation is one of the most hazardous but beneficial discovery. There are four main types of radiation; alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays/x-rays and neutrons. Alpha particles are made up of two protons and two neutrons. It does not infiltrate far into a substance and can be stopped easily. Although it is proficient of breaking chemical bonds when in contact of a molecule due to its size, mass and charge. Whereas the beta particles can have either a negative or a positive charge but has a relatively small amount of mass. This indicates that the beta particles are equivalent to the electrons. Conversely to the alpha particles, the beta particles are light and small whereas the alpha particles are slow and heavy. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, there are also dangers of radiation types, such as a decrease in the ability of penetrating and the ability to ionize or to create electric charges that might be damaged from radiation. These radiation hazards are so perilous because of the sources and situations that has occurred within nuclear radiation; the nuclear fallout from the atmospheric testing, the Chernobyl accident in the Ukraine in 1986 not including the sources we can access today, of uranium mining and conventional power plants. However, these nuclear radiations can be obtained and controlled by either limited exposure to nuclear radiation or protection from the operation of nuclear reactors. In most countries, public dose are limited for exposure to nuclear radiation from uranium mining or nuclear power plants are generally set at 1mSv per year, with workers from uranium mining and power plants, limiting the exposure to approximately 20mSv per year. (2) This can be obtained by the requirements set from the factories and mines to keep exposure as low as possible. In uranium mining operations are regulated and levels of exposure are monitored precisely and accurately due to the safety in the heath of workers in the mines. There are four main approach that can be taken in effect to help protect and reduce the exposure of radiation which are; firstly, you can li mit the tie in which the people are exposed to radiation, and in occupational situations, doses of radiation can be reduce with the reduction of working time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Comparable to the low level radioactive waste, the high level radioactive waste emits a larger amount of radiation causing it to have a longer period of time (half- lives) before the waste will settle to its safe level of radioactivity, with some elements having a half-life of over 100,000 years. The low level wastes are disposed by the use of low level waste landfills that surrounds containers of waste that are buried underground in near trenches and that are bounded by compressed land. For high level wastes, it is disposed by the use of fuel rod storage pools that removes it from the reactors until permanent disposal will occur for approximately 40 years, so that the radioactivity decrease to a manageable level. It could also be disposed by burying it in the ocean receptacles, in polar sheets, sending it to outer space or burying it underground in an ecological container. (3) In conclusion, nuclear radiation is one of the most hazardous discoveries made but it can also be beneficial to the use of medicines, radiations for patients, radioactivity transmission to televisions and radios. When radiations are in contact it could harm the individual's health and put them into risks of receiving cancer. It is important to be protected from excessive exposure to radiation. References: (1) World Nuclear Association, "Radiation and Nuclear Energy", Sweden, 1995, p 13, http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf05.htm (2) World Nuclear Association, "Radiation and Nuclear Energy", Sweden, 1995, p 6, http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf05.htm (3) University of Wollongong, "Nuclear Waste Disposal" , Australia, 2008, p 1, http://www.uow.edu.au/eng/phys/nukeweb/fuel_disposal. ...read more.

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