Nuclear and Radiation Accidents

Pages: 2 (702 words) Published: June 19, 2013
Nuclear and radiation accidents
A nuclear and radiation accident is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency as "an event that has led to significant consequences to people, the environment or the facility. Examples include lethal effects to individuals, large radioactivity release to the environment, or reactor core melt."[2] The prime example of a "major nuclear accident" is one in which a reactor core is damaged and significant amounts of radiation are released, such as in the Chernobyl Disaster in 1986. Effect on life

Normally reactor sites pose no health threat and strict regulations are in place to protect the public. But, natural disasters cannot be predicted and machinery malfunctions and human error is always a possibility, mix these two and the results can be deadly. Any living organism can be killed by radiation if exposed to a large enough dose, but the lethal dose varies greatly between species. Humans are among the most radiosensitive of all living organisms and can be affected somatically - which is damage to the individual, and genetically - which is damage to one’s offspring Although a dose of just 25 rems causes some detectable changes in blood, doses to near 100 rems usually have no immediate harmful effects. Doses above 100 rems cause the first signs of radiation sickness including: onausea

ovomiting
oheadache
osome loss of white blood cells
Doses of 300 rems or more cause temporary hair loss, but also more significant internal harm, including damage to nerve cells and the cells that line the digestive tract. Severe loss of white blood cells, which are the body's main defense against infection, makes radiation victims highly vulnerable to disease. Radiation also reduces production of blood platelets, which aid blood clotting, so victims of radiation sickness are also vulnerable to hemorrhaging. Half of all people exposed to 450 rems die, and doses of 800 rems or more are always fatal. Besides the symptoms mentioned above,...
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