In this article, we have published an Essay on Radioactive Pollution for Students in 1100 Words. Also, you will read Its various Causes, Radioactive classification, Harmful effects, Prevention steps.
So, Let’s this essay on radioactive pollution…
What is Radioactive Pollution? (Introduction)
Radioactive Pollution is a type of hazardous waste containing radioactive materials. Radioactive waste is usually a by-product of nuclear power creation and other functions of nuclear technology, such as nuclear fusion or research and medicine. Radioactive waste is regulated by government agencies to protect human health and the environment.
Radioactivity naturally diminishes over time, so radioactive waste must be isolated and limited for a limited time of inappropriate disposal facilities. The time required to store radioactive waste depends on the type of trash and radioactive isotopes.
The current approach to radioactive waste management is to isolate and store for short-term waste, disposal near the surface for low and some intermediate-level scraps, and high-level wastes buried in a deep geological repository or transfer.
Also read: Essay on Environmental Pollution
Causes of Radioactive Pollution
Causes of environmental radiation are natural and human-made –
1. Natural (background) radiation
It contains cosmic rays, which reach from the earth’s surface to the earth’s surface and give off radiation from radioactive elements in the earth’s shell.
Many active ingredients, such as radium 224, uranium 235, uranium 238, thorium 232, radon 222, potassium 40, and carbon 14, are found in rocks, soils, and water.
2. Human-made radiation
It comprises mining and refining of plutonium and thorium and pre-production of nuclear weapons, nuclear power plants, nuclear fuel, and radioactive isotopes.
Nuclear weapons production includes atomic weapons testing. These tests produce large amounts of radioactive elements in the environment and other substances that are radioactive. They involve strontium 90, cesium 137, iodine 131, and a few others.
Radioactive materials are converted into gases and fine particles, which are transported to areas away from the air. When it rains, radioactive particles fall to the ground, called a nuclear fall. Radioactive materials are carried from the field by plants, which reach humans and animals through food chains.
Lodine 131 disrupts white blood cells, bone marrow, spleen, lymph nodes, skin cancer, infertility, and defective eye vision leading to lung tumors. Strontium accumulates in 90 bones and causes bone cancer and tissue degeneration in most animals and humans.
Radioactive materials are washed from the ground into water bodies (Water pollution), where aquatic organisms absorb them. Dangerous substances from these organisms reach the human body through the food chains.
(A) Nuclear Reactor and Nuclear Fuel
The operation of a nuclear power station releases significant amounts of energy. This energy is utilized in large turbines, which generate electricity. Both the fuel element and the coolant contribute to radiation pollution. The waste of nuclear reactors also contains radioactive materials.
Disposal of these contaminated wastes is the biggest problem. If these wastes are not appropriately disposed of, they can harm organisms wherever they occur. Inert gases and halogen evaporate as evaporation, and they settle on the ground or come to the surface with rain.
(B) Radio Isotopes
Many emitting radiation isotopes, such as 14C, 125I, 32P, and their composites are used in scientific research. The sewage drains, which contain these radioactive materials, reach the water source through sewage channels. From the water, they enter the human body through food chains.
(C) X-ray and radiation therapy
Humans voluntarily receive radiation from diagnostic X-rays and radiation therapy for cancer.
(D) People nearby nuclear plants
People living in or near power plants, nuclear reactors, fuel processors, are exposed to radiation exposure.
The classification of radioactive waste varies by country. The IAEA also plays a vital role in publishing the Radioactive Waste Safety Standard (RADWAS).
1. Low-level garbage
Low-level waste (LLW) is created from hospitals and industries, as well as from the nuclear fuel cycle. The low-level waste consists of paper, rags, tools, clothing, filters, and other materials, including short-term radioactivity.
2. Intermediate level garbage
Intermediate-level wastes (ILW) are more radioactive than low-level waste. It usually requires shielding, but not cooling. Intermediate-level wastes include resins, chemical sludge, and metallic nuclear fuel cladding, as well as materials contaminated with reactor decomposition. It can be frozen as concrete or bitumen or vitrified for disposal with silica sand.
3. High-level garbage
Nuclear reactors generate high-level waste (HLW). The exact definition of HLW differs internationally. The nuclear fuel rod then acts as a fuel cycle and is removed from the core, known as the HLW. Fuel rods encompass fission products and transuranic elements produced in the reactor core. The spent fuel is highly radioactive and often hot. HLW accounts for more than 95 percent of the total radiation generated in the nuclear power generation process.
Harmful Effects of Radioactive pollution
The results of radiation were first detected in 1909 when uranium miners were discovered to be suffering from skin irritation and cancer due to radiation emitted from radioactive minerals. Different organisms have different sensitivity to ionizing radiation. For example, tests have shown that cedar trees can be killed by Pollution, in which oak trees can thrive.
It has also been reported that high-altitude plants have developed polyploids as a protective mechanism against radiation. The coastal areas of South India have high levels of background radiation, which was previously considered very harmful to humans.
Actively growing and dividing cells are quickly damaged. This category includes skin, intestinal lining, bone marrow, gonad, and embryo cells. Radiation can have immediate or short-term and delayed or long-term effects.
(i) Short-range (immediate) effect
They appear within days or weeks after exposure hair, nails, subcutaneous bleeding, changes in the number and ratio of blood cells, changes in metabolism, and the ratio of blood cells.
(ii) Long-range (delay) effect
After exposure, they appear for several months or years. These effects are caused by genetic changes, mutations, short life span, tumor formation, and cancer.
All organisms are affected by radiation pollution. Some bodies accumulate specific radioactive substances. For example, oysters 65Zn, fish 55Fe, marine animals gather 90Sr.
What are the prevention steps for Radioactive Pollution?
The following preventive measures should be adopted to control radioactive contamination.
- Nuclear reactors, industries, and laboratories must completely stop using radioactive material leakage.
- Disposal of radioactive waste must be safe. They must be transformed into harmless or stored in a safe place so that they will not deteriorate harmlessly. Only very little radioactive waste should be dumped into the wastewater.
- It would help if you take Preventive measures so that the natural radiation level does not exceed the allowable limit.
- It would help if you take safety measures to prevent accidents at nuclear power plants.
Radioactive pollution is one of the major types of pollution which causing harmful effects to all living organisms. The government and peoples have to develop ways to eradicate and control it. I hope, we able to explain all the important Essay about Radioactive pollution.