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Nuclear Hazard

Kaushik Chanda, Ph.D

Assistant Professor
Organic Chemistry Division, SAS,
VIT University, Vellore – 14.
Nuclear power Plant
Nuclear power Plant
Nuclear Hazard: Refers to the problems created by radioactive wastes in the
operations of nuclear plants all over the world.
Nuclear energy: Introduction
• The first controlled nuclear fission (splitting of the nucleus of the atom) of an
atom was carried out in Germany in 1938.
 US was the first country to develop an atomic bomb, which was subsequently
dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
 Impossible to forget the devastation caused during world war -II.

• The world's first electricity-generating reactor was constructed in the US in

1951 and the Soviet Union built its first reactor in 1954.
'Nuclear reactors will produce electricity so cheaply.

• Nuclear energy can be both beneficial and harmful, depending on the way in
which it is used.
• We routinely use X-rays to examine bones for fractures, treat cancer with
radiation, and diagnose diseases with the help of radioactive isotopes.

• Approx. 17% of the electrical energy generated in the world comes from
nuclear power plants.

• The radioactive wastes from nuclear energy have caused, and continue to
cause, serious environmental damage.
Nuclear energy: Source
• Low-grade uranium ore, which contains 0.2% uranium by weight, is obtained
by surface or underground mining.

• After it is mined the ore goes through a milling process where it is crushed and
treated with a solvent to concentrate the uranium and produces 'yellow cake', a
material containing 70-90% uranium oxide.

• Naturally occurring uranium contains only 0.7% of fissionable U-235, which is

not high enough for most types of reactors.

• So it is necessary to increase the amount of U-235 by enrichment, although it

is a difficult and expensive process

• Radiation: is energy transported in the form of particles or waves (alpha, beta, gamma,

• Radioactive Material: is a material that contains atoms that emit radiation spontaneously.
Nuclear Hazard
Nuclear Hazard: Definition:

• Nuclear Hazard: refers to the problems created by radioactive wastes in the

operations of nuclear plants all over the world.

• Several serious accidents have caused worldwide concern about safety and
disposal of radioactive wastes.

• The nuclear waste (radioactive wastes) originates from uranium mining, as
uranium is essentially required as fuel by all nuclear reactors.

This can be used as such in heavy water reactors.

• If it is used in light water reactors, it should be enriched in isotope content.

Nuclear Accidents - Sources
Nuclear test , Nuclear explosions, carried out in underground –
 Settling down the radioactive materials on the earth’s surface and
radioactive particles, radioactive rays into the atmosphere.

Nuclear power plant accidents.

 Release of radiation occurs during the accidents.
 The nuclear power plant located in the seismic vulnerable area may
cause nuclear accidents.

Improper disposal of radioactive waste.

It is another source of accident.
Drums stored underground can rust and leak radioactive materials into water,
land and air.

Accident during transport.

Trucks carrying radioactive wastes or fuels are involved in frequent

Core melt down.

The major accident at a nuclear power plant is a core melts down.
Nuclear Test 1962
Nuclear Holocaust

• It means destruction of biodiversity by nuclear equipments and nuclear bombs.

• Holocaust: Large members of living beings are destroyed esp. by fire.

• Usually, these kinds of destructions are happened in a nuclear war.

Examples of Nuclear Holocausts
 Nuclear war:
In 1945 World war- II, Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, are the examples of
nuclear holocaust.
In Hiroshima at Japan.
 1 lakh people were killed.
 80,000 peolple- permanently injured with disabilities.

Nagasaki in Japan.- Augest 1945

45,000 people were killed by radio active explosion.

 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident ukraine in Russia 1986.

When the operators lost the control of a water-cooled, graphite-moderated
reactor during a low power tests at Chernobyl in Ukraine, the nuclear reactor
 Few thousand innocent people died.
Nuclear accidents
Worlds worst Nuclear accident
Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident ukraine in Russia 1986
Nuclear accidents - Japan
Effect of Nuclear Holocaust
Nuclear Winter
• Nuclear bombardment will cause combustion of wood, plastics, petroleum; forest
• Large quantity of black soot will be carried to the stratosphere.

• Black soot will absorb all UV-radiations and will not allow the radiation to reach
the earth.

• Therefore, cooling will result. Due to this cooling effect, water evaporation will
also reduce.

• Thus, due to nuclear explosions, a process known as opposite to global warming

will occur. This is called nuclear winter.

• It ignites all combustible material; destroy all the living beings,

material crushing, and destruction of homes.
Effects of Nuclear Hazards
Effects of Nuclear Hazards
• No physical, chemical or biological process can influence the process of
radioactive emissions.
The unstable nuclei have to decay and acquire a stable state.
• Most of the radiations have a high penetrating power.
 Thick sheets of steel, cement concrete walls etc cannot contain them.
 They can easily penetrate to deep-seated organs and cause injury.

• Nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) effectively absorb these radiations.

 Even low-level radiations, by nuclear material, which causes carcinogenic,
mutagenic, and teratogenic effects.

• Entire food chain becomes contaminated.

• There is no other way to dispose of these hazardous wastes except to store

them for thousands or millions of years away from living beings.

• In spite of all these hazards, nuclear reactors and tests are continuing and an
increasingly large amount of radioactive wastes is accumulating every day
while no solution to the problem of their safe disposal is in sight until date.
Control of Radioactive Pollution
• Nuclear devices should never be exploded in air. If these activities are
extremely necessary then they should be exploded underground.

• In nuclear reactors, closed-cycle coolant system with gaseous coolants may

be used to prevent extraneous activation products
• Containments may also be employed to decrease the radioactive emission.
• It can be achieved by using tightly sealed boxes and closed cycle system

• Minimum number of nuclear installations should be commissioned.

• In nuclear mines, we drilling may be employed along with underground


• Nuclear medicines and radiation therapy should be applied when absolutely

necessary with minimum doses.

• In nuclear and chemical industries, the use of radioisotopes may be carried

under a jet of soil or water instead of powder or gaseous forms.
1. Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.

2. In Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu. July 2004.

100 school children burnt to death.
3. Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in Russia 1986.
The Chernobyl disaster
• The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986,
at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine near the town of Pripyat in the
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, during a systems test.( part of the Soviet

• The disaster occurred at reactor number four at the Chernobyl plant.

• A sudden power output surge took place, and when an attempt was made for
emergency shutdown, a more extreme spike in power output occurred which
led to a reactor vessel rupture and a series of explosions.
• This event exposed the graphite moderator components of the reactor to air
and they ignited;
• The resulting fire sent a plume of radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and
over an extensive geographical area, including Pripyat.

• The plume drifted over large parts of the western Soviet Union, Eastern
Europe, Western Europe, and Northern Europe.
• Large areas in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia had to be evacuated, with over
3,36,000 people resettled.
• According to official post-Soviet data,[1] about 60% of the fallout landed in
The Chernobyl disaster
• Conditions prior to the accident
• The conditions to run the test were established prior to the day shift of 25 April

• The day shift workers had been instructed in advance about the test and were
familiar with procedures.

• A special team of electrical engineers was present to test the new voltage
regulating system.
• As planned, on 25 April a gradual reduction in the output of the power unit was
begun at 01:06 a.m., and by the beginning of the day shift the power level had
reached 50% of its nominal 3200 MW thermal.

• At this point, another regional power station unexpectedly went off-line, and
the Kiev electrical grid controller requested that the further reduction of
Chernobyl's output be postponed, as power was needed to satisfy the peak
evening demand. The Chernobyl plant director agreed and postponed the test.
The photos show a place called On the 26th April 1986 a plant reactor
Chernobyl exploded during a failed cooling
system test, igniting a massive fire that
burned for ten days.

At 1:23am the reactor became out of

control creating explosions and a
fireball which blew off the reactor's
heavy steel and concrete lid.

The accident released radioactivity equivalent to 400 times

that of the Hiroshima bomb.

More than 3,50,000 people were displaced and scientists

estimate up to 90,000 square miles of land in Belarus,
Ukraine, and Russia (all part of the Soviet Union at the
time) were contaminated with unhealthy levels of
radioactive elements.
The nuclear reactor after the disaster. Reactor 4 (center).
Turbine building (lower left).
Reactor 3 (center right)
Location Pripyat, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Chernobyl nuclear disaster
Chernobyl nuclear
• April 26 marks the 22nd anniversary of the 1986 nuclear accident
at the ...
Radioactivity damages our DNA and changes our body’s cells. This causes
cancer and mutations.

Serious exposure to radiation is likely to cause death within 2 to 4 weeks.

176 people were working at the reactor that night. Most were killed instantly,
others died agonising deaths soon afterwards.

Many of those who didn’t die from the exposure have gone on to give birth to a
mutated generation.
This photo shows doctors at a
hospital in Kiev operating on a
patient with Thyroid cancer

This photo shows a nursery

in an abandoned town in the
Ukraine. No one has been
to the town since 1986.
This photo shows Six-year-old
This photo shows a photos Vedernikova Marija, the only
deserted house. child known living in her area.
This photo shows the
remains of the Chernobyl
nuclear power plant.

This photo shows a Ukrainian

girl diagnosed with cancer,
holding an earlier picture of
her and her sister
Bomb Blasts

Instantaneous chain of events in which an explosive material is rapidly

converted into a gas under extremely high temperature and pressure.

DHS/NTC B461 Course 31

Incendiaries or Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)
• Incendiaries devices make up many terrorist attacks:
 Stationary (placed)
 Hand-thrown (Molotov cocktail)
 Self-propelled such as rockets, and rifle grenades

• Approximately 70 percent of all terrorism incidents

involve the use of high or low explosives

• Explosives can be used to disperse other CBRNE


DHS/NTC B461 Course 32

1. Jalian wala Bagh massacre 1919 Amristar, Panjab by
British Army.
2. Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.
3. In Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu. July 2004.
100 school children burnt to death.
4. Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in Russia 1986.

5. In December 2004, Tsunami killed Few lakhs people on

coastal place of Andaman& Nicobar islands, Indonesia,
Srilanka & India.