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Hazards of Nuclear Pollution

History of Nuclear Energy Development

First controlled fission of nuclear power in 1938 by German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann Following WW II, people began exploring other potential uses of nuclear energy. U.S. built worlds first nuclear power plant in 1951. The 1973 oil crisis had a significant effect on countries, such as France and Japan, which had relied more heavily on oil for electric generation to invest in nuclear power.

The Nature of Nuclear Energy

Nuclear power is produced by controlled (i.e., non-explosive) nuclear reactions. Commercial and utility plants currently use nuclear fission reactions to heat water to produce steam, which is then used to generate electricity. Radioactive - Nuclei of certain atoms are unstable and spontaneously decompose. Nuclear Chain Reaction - Splitting nuclei release neutrons, which themselves strike more nuclei, in turn releasing even more neutrons.

Uses of Nuclear power

Nuclear power has the potential to reduce dependence on continuously depleting fossil fuels. Nuclear fission chain reactions are selfsustaining and thus only few plants can generate large amounts of energy.

Nuclear power generation adds fewer amounts of hazardous emissions to the atmosphere compared to conventional fuels

Uses of Nuclear power

There is limited supply of coal and gas left. In their absence, nuclear power can take over the role of producing electricity. It is the most concentrated form of energy and is therefore reliable. Nuclear power is not very expensive to produce. Its cost is similar to that coal

Disadvantages of nuclear power

It causes nuclear explosions. These explosions emit radiations that have both immediate and long-term effect on living beings. Nuclear reactors do not have a long life. They work only until fifty years maximum.

Disadvantages of nuclear power

If the reaction in a nuclear reactor goes haywire, it can lead to a meltdown. This meltdown releases harmful radiations into the atmosphere. Requires lot of money to be spent to ensure the safety standards of a nuclear reactor.

Though reactors produce little waste, yet it is hard to be gotten rid of. This is mainly because nuclear waste is radio active in nature and can cause serious health hazards if humans are exposed to it

Effects of nuclear explosion

Direct effect of a nuclear blast is damage to life and property. This explosion is most serious in places of higher altitude. The blast winds are much more powerful than a hurricane. A nuclear explosion releases large amounts of radioactive substance. This can cause damage to the eyes.. The tremendous heat output will result in burn injuries, both to the skin and to the skeletal system.

Gamma rays will cause metal wires to act as antennas and produce high voltage. Earthquakes of great intensity can occur as an aftermath to nuclear blasts. It will result in the death of many living organisms. Those that survive will show symptoms of radioactive poisoning.
In the survivors, gene mutation will occur as a result of the radiation.

Nuclear terrorism threat

Another actual question of the NPPs safety is nuclear terrorism.
The NPP could be captured by terrorists and used like a nuclear weapon.

Ways to control nuclear waste pollution

Glass spectacles:- Use of spectacles will protect the eyes from ultraviolet light because ultra violet light cannot penetrate the glass. Exposure to Visible light :Visible light neutralizes UV damage considerably.

Insulation of Reactors:- Radioactive isotopes are used as fuels in the atomic power plants. So the reactors must be enclosed in broad concrete walls to prevent the radiations to come out. The water, used in the reactor as coolent, also must be kept in safe concrete walls

Ways to control nuclear waste pollution

Waste Disposal:- Radioactive wastes must be stored in underground tanks where they gradually decay in a harmless manner. Protective Garments:- Workers in atomic power plant and other industries using radioactive materials should wear protective garments. Radiation Indicators:- The workers, should wear radiation indicators to know the total amount of radiation to which they have been exposed. Atomic bomb explosion must be stopped.


The 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine was the world's worst nuclear power plant accident, resulting in an estimated 4,056 deaths On 26 April 1986, at 01:23 a.m reactor 4 suffered a catastrophic power increase, leading to explosions in the core. This dispersed large quantities of radioactive fuel and core materials into the atmosphere and ignited the combustible Large amounts of radioactive contamination were spread across Europe, and cesium and strontium contaminated many agricultural products, livestock and soil.

The accident necessitated the evacuation of 300,000 people from Kiev, rendering an area of land unusable to humans for an indeterminate period A large swath of pine forest killed by acute radiation The incidence of thyroid cancer among children in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia has risen sharply.

Recovery Projects
The Chernobyl Shelter Fund - The plan calls for transforming the site into an ecologically safe condition by means of stabilization of the Sarcophagus followed by construction of a New Safe Confinement (NSC). This conceptual design for the NSC consists of a movable arch, constructed away from the shelter to avoid high radiation.

Recovery Projects
The United Nations Development Programme- The United Nations Development Programme has launched in 2003 a specific project called the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme (CRDP) for the recovery of the affected areas.

The main goal of the CRDPs activities was to mitigate long-term social, economic, and ecological consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe.
The International Project on the Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident- The International Project on the Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident (IPEHCA) which received US $ 20 million from Japan to discover the main cause of health problems due to radiation.