Radioactive contamination causes
For some time now, the State has had the foresight to foresee this future development, instituting the appropriate bodies at the appropriate time. Thus the Decree-Law of October twenty-second, nineteen fifty-one created the Nuclear Energy Board and entrusted it with specific missions. Subsequent provisions regulate the tasks of personnel development and training that are specific to it and others of a general nature, among which mining and radiation protection are worthy of mention.
Since then, the Nuclear Energy Board has projected its work as a Research Center, as a Government Advisory Body, as an Institute in charge of the problems of safety and protection against the danger of ionizing radiations and as a promoter of industrial development related to nuclear energy applications. The installation and development of its laboratories, its pilot plants and its concentrates factory; its participation in International Organizations, its collaboration in technical and scientific programs in other countries have already given excellent results and have allowed the training of specialized personnel and the necessary techniques for the next stage of incorporation of nuclear energy to the national supply.
Radioactive hazards in the workplace
The different nuclear cemeteries are divided into categories, depending on their levels of radioactivity. Inside those yellow drums that we all associate with nuclear energy, there can be anything from low-level waste to highly contaminated material, be it clothing, computers or simply water.
However, there are also high-level wastes, usually those generated with spent fuel. In this case, they are stored at the plant itself until they are transported in corrosion-resistant metal containers. This is where nuclear cemeteries come in, which are isolated shelters where these wastes are stored.
Nuclear cemeteries can be divided into two types: temporary ones, located in warehouses and facilities, and those known as deep geological repositories, located in stable areas, isolated from earthquakes and far from the surface. These are real galleries sealed so that these wastes are not in contact with man.
How radioactive waste affects the environment
Radioactive contamination or nuclear pollution is the unwanted presence of radioactive substances in the environment. This contamination can come from natural or artificial radioisotopes.
The former occurs when it is those radioactive isotopes that exist in the earth’s crust since the formation of the earth or those that are continuously generated in the atmosphere by the action of cosmic rays. When these natural radioisotopes are found in higher concentrations than those that can be found in nature (within the existing variability), we can speak of radioactive contamination. Examples of these radioisotopes are 235U, 210Po, radon, 40K or 7Be.
Radioactive contamination from atomic physics activities since the 20th century can be the result of serious malfunctions in nuclear power plants or from research on nuclear bombs, as well as from the manufacture and use of radioactive materials (see alpha particle emitters and Ionizing radiation).
When you hear about radioactive contamination, or even radioactive things in general, you probably don’t think too positive thoughts. If so, you are not wrong, because we are talking about the most dangerous form of pollution of all. That is why in EcologíaVerde we consider it is important that we are informed about it and thus be able to be forewarned. If you agree, read the following article in which we bring you a little closer to this radioactive contamination: causes, consequences and solutions.
The causes of radioactive contamination, in general, refer to artificial radiation. In the case of natural radiation, gases and particles produced by materials that emit radioactivity are transported through the wind and fall with the rain to the ground by a phenomenon called nuclear fallout.The main causes of radioactive contamination by artificial radiation are the use of these radioactive materials and the exposure of waste released without proper storage, although they also highlight causes such as: