What is nuclear radiation?


Fun & Info @ Keralites.net

What is nuclear radiation?

Radiation can damage cells and the DNA inside them through its ionizing effect. This effect happens when a high-energy carrying particle or photon removes an electron within an atom’s nucleus from its orbit, thereby changing the properties of the atom. If enough ionization occurs DNA, cell and tissue damage result.
A common example is sunburn, caused by its ultraviolet light. Mutations can result, such as melanoma and other cancers. Of course ionizing effects from nuclear radiation from radioactive materials can do the same thing.
X-rays, gamma rays and far ultraviolet light are always ionizing. Near ultraviolet light and visible light are only ionizing to some molecules. Radio waves and microwaves do not have any ionizing effect.

Beneficial effects of nuclear radiation

Nuclear radiation has a number of beneficial uses, including:

  • Medicinal, such as radio therapy for cancers and X-rays
  • Dating purposes (no, this not where you nuke a ‘toxic’ date)
  • Level indicators and thickness gauges
  • In smoke detectors and
  • In tracing locations of gas or liquid leaks or
  • Tracing locations of malfunctioning in the body such as a blocked kidney
  • Sterilisation of medical instruments or bacteria or moulds in foods

These, and other such applications,involve low levels of radioactive compounds. However repeated exposure to X-rays is hazardous to your health because of the ionising effects of nuclear radiation.

How long does nuclear radiation last?

All radioactive substances decay over time. Some take fractions of seconds, others many thousands of years.
In theory all radio active substances stay slightly radio active and are never completely inert. That’s why it is more appropriate to use the ‘half-life’ of a radio active substance to indicate its level of radio activity. Its half life is the time it takes for its radio activity to fall by half.
For example, if the radioactivity of a radioactive substance fell by half every two years, its half life would be two years. You notice that it takes much longer for its radio activity to fall to very low levels and that after six years it would have dropped to one-eight of its radio activity.
At every step of its decay the radio active substance transforms into another substance as the composition of the nuclei in its atoms changes.
The half-life of uranium 238 is 4.5 billion years. That means that within that time half of the remaining uranium 238 will have decayed.

Are there any remedies for nuclear radiation effects?

In nuclear bomb explosions or nuclear reactor accidents radio active iodine can be dispersed over wide geographic areas. In the case of the Chernobyl accident it was, as far as 500 km. We do not know what the extent of radiation in the Japanese nuclear disaster may be yet but effects may also be global. Thyroid cancer is one result of such radiation.
Here is a powerful video available on YouTube about Chernobyl's nuclear fallout effects. Beware, it's quite disturbing in parts!

There is a way to avoid this toxicity but it has to be done before exposure to the radioactive nuclear radiation product iodine. Taking potassium iodide (KI) or potassium iodate (KIO3) will saturate the thyroid gland with the safe and stable iodine, contained in these chemicals. This leaves no room for the radioactive iodine to be taken up in the thyroid. Therefore any ingested or inhaled iodine is rapidly eliminated via the kidneys.
Of course KI or KIO3 tablets offer no protection against other radio active elements nor from external radiation.

Nuclear radiation - a risk?

Given that there are some 440 nuclear reactors worldwide you’d expect the risk of radiation to be high. However, the only major nuclear accident that saw radiation escape over large areas has to date been Chernobyl.
We hope the 2011 Japanese nuclear situation will not be added

by net

No comments:

Post a Comment

എഴുതുക എനിക്കായി....