The decision to raise the alert level to 7 from 5 on the scale amounts to an admission that the accident at the nuclear facility, is likely to have substantial and long lasting consequences for health and for the environment.
Living with radiation can in fact be frightening. Plants making nuclear-weapons materials also pollute our environment. Three Mile Island and
What is radiation anyway? Although the term is broad enough to include sunlight and heat, radio waves and microwaves, it is most often used to mean ionizing radiation. Every radioactive substance contains unstable atoms, or radionuclides. They want to become something else- something stable- so they change or decay. With each change energy is released. A radionuclide may transform itself many times before becoming stable. An atom of radioactive uranium 238 goes through 14 changes before stabilizing as lead 206. These sequences are known as decay chains.
If body tissues and cells become ionized, abnormalities in DNA can result. Cancer and birth defects can also result from exposure to ionizing radiation.
Even more than Three Mile Island, the explosion at the
The main economic cost of the
The Three Mile Island accident was a core meltdown in Unit 2 (a pressurized water reactor ) of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in
The power plant was owned and operated by General Public Utilities and Metropolitan Edison. It was the most significant accident in the history of the
On December 12, 1952 a partial meltdown of a reactor's uranium core at the
On October 1957 fire destroyed the core of a plutonium-producing reactor at
Other accident took place on Winter 1957-'58 when a serious accident occurred during the winter of 1957-58 near the town of Kyshtym in the Urals. A Russian scientist who first reported the disaster estimated that hundreds died from radiation sickness.
On January 1,1992 four tons of heavy water spilt at Rajasthan nuclear power plant (
Lots more are there to be listed.
Fears of radiation hazards from nuclear energy arise on the following counts:
- release of radioactivity into the atmosphere.
- doubts on safety of operating nuclear reactors and associated health risks.
- management and safe disposal of radioactive waste.
- possibilities of nuclear plant accidents including sabotage.
- risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear power plants are subject to a number of hazards that may originate from outside. Among natural hazards are earthquakes, flooding of the site, ground settlement, etc. Other hazards could be accidents in near by industries, fire, aircraft crash, or sabotage such as bombing and missile attacks during war and terrorist activities.
Accidents in nuclear power plants in the past have been attributed mainly to operation errors, design deficiencies and a series of equipments failures. But the accident in
Controversies regarding actual number of deaths, the quantity of radioactivity released and delayed effects still persist.
The demand for energy in several countries is being substantially met through nuclear reactors. It is feared that the phenomenal increase in the number of reactors during the last 40 years or so has increased the possibility of exposure to radiation hazards and accidents.