Competitive Exams: Science and Technology Nuclear Radiation Safety
Nuclear Radiation Safety
To safeguard against ionizing radiations, three factors are to be considered distances, time and shielding. The radiation intensity follows the inverse square lawif distance from the source is doubled, the intensity of radiation will reduce four times.
For safety against ionizing radiation, the best strategy is to remain as far away as possible from the source. Another is time of exposure. Since ionizing radiations are of integration type, it is better to reduce the time of exposure to accumulate fewer doses and remain within the safe permitted limit. The third strategy is to adopt shielding by high-density materials. Every material has a certain shielding capability for ionizing radiations. Generally concrete, lead, iron, barium-concrete etc are used as shielding materials to protect against ionizing radiation. With a combination of these three safety parameters, the exposure to radiation can be controlled to a great extent.
The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) was introduced in 1990 by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in order to enable prompt communication of safety significance information in case of nuclear accidents. Because of the difficulty of interpretation, the INES level of an incident is assigned well after the incident occurs and, therefore, has a very logarithmic and the assignment of level is carried out after considering various pros and cost of the nuclear emergency.
No doubt nuclear energy is a boon in terms of cheap, eco-friendly and large power availability, but it can get converted into a bane with a little twist of nature. Therefore, radiation effects, hazards and safety concerns must be considered while exploiting nuclear energy or peaceful alternate endeavours
Courtesy: Science Reporter