Negative Impact of Nuclear Pollution and Ways to Control It

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Any undesirable effect caused to the environment due to radioactive elements or radiations is known as nuclear pollution. Nuclear pollution is extremely hazardous dangerous in nature. It occurs as a production of nuclear explosions that are performed while conducting nuclear tests. These nuclear tests are conducted to invent better nuclear weapons for various reasons. The nuclear explosions cause release of 15 to 20% radioactive material into the stratosphere. On entering this layer, they start falling down into the earth’s atmosphere. This fall can take place anywhere from 6 months to several years. 5% of these radioactive particles enter troposphere, which is the lowest layer of the atmosphere.

Causes of Nuclear Pollution

Nuclear waste comes from a number of sources:

  • Mining and refining of radio-active elements such as uranium and thorium- Mining of radioactive ores (such as uranium and phosphate ores) include the crushing and processing of radioactive ores and generate radioactive by-products.
  • Operations conducted by nuclear power stations produce radioactive waste- Nuclear waste may generate low to medium radiation over long period of times. The radioactivity may get contaminated and propagated through air, water, and soil as well. Nuclear waste cannot be depleted or treated chemically or biologically.
  • Nuclear fuel cycle- Used in many medical, industrial, scientific processes and research purposes.
  • Nuclear weapons– Probably the highest amounts of human-induced radiation pollution generated during 20th century through various experimental or combat nuclear detonations (that ended the Second World War).
  • The sources of radiation pollution include any process that produces radiation in the environment.
  • The most common ones that can pose moderate to serious health risks include: Defense weapon production– may also release radioactivity from the handling radioactive materials (usually at high health risks). However, unless accident occurs, the current standards will not allow the discharge of any significant amount of radiation.
  • Nuclear accidents– A classic example of such accident is the nuclear explosion, 1986 at a former Soviet nuclear power plant from Chernobyl and explosion, 1979 at Three Mile Island nuclear-power generating plant near Harrisburg, PA. The effects still exist even today. Even accidents from handling medical nuclear materials or wastes could have radiation health effects on workers in the immediate environment.

Negative impact on health and environment

Dose of 25 rems (unit of radiation needed to damage cells) causes changes in blood characteristics, above 100 rems cause nausea, vomiting, headache and loss of leucocytes. The free radicals slowly and steadily destroy cell membranes, proteins, and nucleic acids in human body. The effects occur lately after few months or years which include genetic mutations and formation of tumours

The most sensitive regions exposed to radiation are actively dividing cells quickly such, intestine, and bone marrow, as gonads, skin and other parts. The radiations and negative effects influence nature and happen in the coastal areas. The fishes die and water gets polluted by the radiation.

Radiation also adversely effect on chromosomes. It increases the frequency of chromosomal aberrations and leads to genetic mutations. Such genetic changes may adversely affect plant metabolism or change their characteristics in future generations. Nuclear radiation degrades soil quality, leading to plants which contain radiation and pose a health threat to individuals.

Ways to Control Nuclear Pollution

Safety measures to be takes as far as proper clothing is concerned while working with the radioactive materials. The workers should be compulsorily wearing safety protective garments working in the nuclear plants. Thorough checking of leakages: All the leakages that happen from the radioactive equipment including those from the nuclear reactors, industries and laboratories should be checked thoroughly and tested properly.

All the radioactive materials like elements and ores must be carefully stored away within safe places and should be changed into a form make sure they are harmless. It is a must to have nuclear power plants maintain strict laws and regulations and the safety instructions. The same should be made equally clear and be followed cautiously.

It is very important that the disposal of all the radioactive elemets/substances/materials and wastes of left over must be done safely, carefully and securely. Only those radioactive wastes that are at very low radiation capacity might be drained or put into the sewage system otherwise not.

There should be a proper and keen check on natural radiation that may be maintained at a permissible limit and any divergence should be reported and tackled carefully. It is necessary to understand that the manufacturing of radio isotopes is as minimal as possible as they are highly unstable to specific conditions

It is necessary to make sure that when there is a need to explode any of the nuclear devices then it should be underground preferably and not above the ground. While disposing off the industrial wastes that are high potential of containing radionuclide there must be immense precautions to be undertaken then.

Wet drilling and underground drainage should be used in the nuclear mining processes. There should be a provision of having high chimney and ventilators where there is possibility of radioactive contamination is high. Even when we use of nuclear medicines and radiation therapy is done it should be as used the last option. It is better to be distant from nuclear radiations as much as possible. Nuclear fission reactions must be minimised as much as possible in order to reduce nuclear pollution.


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Negative Impact of Nuclear Pollution and Ways to Control It. (2020, Nov 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/negative-impact-of-nuclear-pollution-and-ways-to-control-it/

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