What is Nuclear Energy Pollution , its causes , effects and prevention

When we go in detail about each kind of pollution, the facts may seem very surprising and it is also wondering to know about nuclear pollution. Many people ask does nuclear energy cause pollution. The answer is a big, bold YES. Here, we discuss a lot about what is nuclear pollution, its causes, effects and also prevention.  Dig deep into these topics and know more and more about nuclear pollution. The after effects of nuclear pollution are even more dangerous than you could even dream about. What are we doing to this beautiful world?

Earth has provided us with so many resources. What we are giving in return? As the saying goes give and take, earth may kick back at some point of time for what we do to her. Exploiting the resources is not only what we do, we also pollute the planet so deeply and badly. Let us see now what is nuclear pollution  and effects.

Radiation is a term given for waves caused by electromagnetism and high energy particles.

Well known electromagnetic waves are radio waves, light, infrared rays, UV rays, X rays, Gamma rays. These are well known and are used extensively in the fields of communications, industry, medicine and research.

Radioactive substances have High energy particles which are tiny bits of matter that are made to move at high speeds releasing nuclear radiation.  There are about 50 naturally occurring radioactive substances and More than 2000 man-made ones. There are three kinds of radioactive radiation – alpha particles, beta particles and gamma radiation.

Another kind of radiation we face each day is cosmic radiation. This is the radiation that reaches us from outer space but is filtered out to a large extent by the layers of atmosphere that surrounds our earth

Contamination of the atmosphere by radiation and radioactive particles is called nuclear pollution


Most activities that involve radioactive substances have potential to contaminate the environment .these include

Beginning with the Second World War when Japan was subdued after the use of the nuclear bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, countries have been in the race to develop their own nuclear arms, in the name of defence, but more to threaten rival nations. These were led by US, Russia, Britain, France and China. Nowadays N. Korea, Iran and many of the developing countries are equipped to build these weapons as well.

Testing the weapons involves explosions is the atmospheric layer called stratosphere. The exploded debris emitting radiation then falls back to the earth. Some of the radiation is absorbed by our atmosphere. But some of it reaches the earth falling on areas that are far away from the site where the weapon was released initially. This is called Fallout. When these particles settle on the vegetation and are consumed by animals they enter into the food chain. When fallout settles over the sea, the ecosystem of the sea gets affected and again entering the food chain.

Intense Nuclear energy from radioactive fuel is used to heat water to steam. The steam is then used to turn the turbines that in turn work the generators to produce electricity. Small amounts of radiation are released during this process into the water which may then dispose off indiscriminately causing nuclear pollution.

Spent nuclear fuel contains very active radioactive atoms that remain so sometimes almost for 600yrs or more. These must be disposed of in a very careful manner, with strict regulations in well designated spaces. But the fact is many governments tend to approve of dumping nuclear fuel as far from their country as possible. The favourite dumping ground of many countries was the Pacific Ocean. Greenpeace an organisation dedicated to preserving the environment and saving the earth from pollution has brought attention to this activity and opposes it with fervour.

Some plants store spent fuel in underground water pools as these release a high amount of heat and need to be cooled down. There is always the danger of seepage into the land nearby, contaminating ground water and surrounding lands.

On a smaller scale is the radioactive waste that is produced in diagnostic Imaging in Health sector.

This most famous of these was the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster in Russia in 1986. The fallout of this accident was felt over three countries- Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The area surrounding the reactor is still polluted and not suitable for inhabitation or farming.

The other more recent accident was the Fukushima Daichii nuclear disaster on March 11th,  2011. An earthquake followed by a tsunami caused the main reactors and supplementary generators severe damage. Inadequate preparation to deal with an incident of this scale was also a factor that leads to hydrogen explosions and the seepage of radioactive material in the ground water.

Effects of Nuclear Pollution

The effect of nuclear pollution is seen on every organism in the environment from the bacteria to plants to human beings. Nothing is spared.


Prevention of Nuclear pollution

Nuclear energy is a clean source of energy, inexpensive and extensive too. With a small amount of fuel a large amount of energy can be generated. Though there have been mishaps in the past and wrongful use of this energy, there is still great potential for it. Any well intentioned effort must be backed by good research, a well-designed plan and proper back up plans for any setbacks. The safety of the environment and the people must always come first.