Chapter: Environmental Science and Engineering

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Nuclear Hazards

The radiation hazard in the environment comes from ultraviolet, visible, cosmic rays and micro wave radiation which produces genetic mutation in man.

NUCLEAR HAZARDS

 

The radiation hazard in the environment comes from ultraviolet, visible, cosmic rays and micro wave radiation which produces genetic mutation in man.

 

 

1 Sources of Nuclear Hazards

 

Natural Sources  This is in space which emits cosmic rays.

 

Man made Sources  (Anthropogenic sources) these are nuclear power plants, X-rays, nuclear accidents, nuclear bombs, diagnostic kits.

 

2 Effects of Nuclear Hazards

 

v   Exposure of the brain and central nervous system ot high doses of radiation causes delirium, convulsions and death within hours or days.

 

v   The use of eye is vulnerable to radiation. As its cell die, they become opaque forming cataracts that impair sight.

 

 

 

v   Acute radiation sickness is marked by vomiting; bleeding of gums and in severe cases mouth ulcers.

 

v   Nausea and vomiting often begin a few hours after the gastrointestinal tract is exposed. Infection of the intestinal wall can kill weeks afterwards.

v   Unborn children are vulnerable to brain damage or mental retardation, especially if

 

irradiation   occurs during formation of the central nervous system in early pregnancy.

 

3 Control measures

 

Nuclear devices should never be exploded in air.

In nuclear reactors, closed cycle coolant system with gaseous coolant may be used to prevent extraneous activation products.

Containments may also be employed to decrease the radio active emissions.

Extreme care should be exercised in the disposal of industrial wastes contaminated with radio nuclides.

Use of high chimneys and ventilations at the working place where radioactive contamination is high. It seems to be an effective way for dispersing pollutants.

 

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