Radioactive Wastes and Pollution

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Radioactive waste is the hazardous waste released in an environment which has radioactive elements present in it. The causes of radiation pollution are usually by-products created from nuclear technology processes adapted in factories. These can be harmful materials for a living being and are excreted generally from medical labs and power plants. Such wastes contain elements like Uranium, radon, potassium, etc. and can be hazardous when reacted with other elements of the environment. 

What is Radioactive Pollution?

It is the pollution caused by radioactive elements in air or water. They can create unhealthy and life-threatening situations if these radioactive wastes aren’t disposed of properly. The effects of nuclear pollution can be severe and may cause several diseases in human beings or animals. 

Types of Radioactive Pollution

These can be segregated into three types 

  1. Very low-level Waste – It includes the weakest of what is radioactive waste. created during demolishing materials such as plaster, brick, valve, pipes, concrete, etc. 

  2. Low-level Waste – These include the wastes disposed of hospitals and industries and are short-lived radioactive material. The sources of radiation pollution are emitted from various low-level radioactive materials like cotton, rags, paper, tools, etc. These wastes are usually burned when disposed of. 

  3. Intermediate Level Waste – This type of pollution is on an intermediate level as high-level radioactive elements create them. Therefore, these materials are buried while disposing of for prevention of contamination. 

  4. High-level Waste – These high-level types of radioactive waste emit by burning of Uranium in the nuclear reactor. Such wastes produced are very hot and radioactive and hence need shielding and cooling operations. 

Prevention of Radioactive Pollution

Once you know what is radioactive pollution, you must look for preventive measures so that a clean and pollution-free environment can be achieved. Read on to understand how you can minimise the effects of radiation pollution. 

  • One should never mix radioactive wastes with non-radioactive pollutants. 

  • Order radioactive materials in limited quantity only as per requirement. 

  • Ensure to develop a process which helps take control of radioactive Pollution by reducing the production of wastes. 

  • Use reagents that are capable of reducing the toxicity of waste and its volume before disposal. 

  • Try to replace radioactive substances with short-lived radioactive elements. 

Multiple-Choice Questions 

1. When Talking about what is Radioactive Pollution, it is the Pollution caused by 

  1. Visible light.

  2. Microwaves solely.

  3. Ionising radiation. 

  4. Non-ionising radiation. 

2. Choose the Right one in the Context of Radioactive Pollution. 

  1. Not dangerous.

  2. Usually manmade. 

  3. Generally caused by radon gas. 

  4. Always nature occurring.

3. Choose the Primary Sources of Radioactive Pollution. 

  1. Sunlight.

  2. Volcanoes.  

  3. Nuclear power plant. 

4. Choose the Appropriate Medical Condition which can be Caused due to the Extreme Exposure to Radioactive Pollutants. 

  1. Blood pressure. 

  2. Mutation.

  3. AIDS. 

  4. Kidney stone. 

5. Choose the Radioactive Element which can cause Thyroid Gland Cancer. 

  1. C -12. 

  2. U -235.

  3. U -238.

  4. I -132.

Now learn to define radioactive Pollution and understand the concepts with Vedantu by your side. We will not only help in your academics but will help in improving your knowledge. Acquire proficient knowledge of the topic and prepare better for the exam.  

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the Sources of Radioactive Pollution?

Ans. Nuclear power plants, medical labs, nuclear weapon testing, chemical industries, mining of atomic substances, etc. are a few sources of radioactive pollution.

2. What are Some Radioactive Pollution Examples? 

Ans. Production of nuclear or radioactive waste in factories, mining for atomic fuels, testing of nuclear weapons; and disposal of highly radioactive elements in the environment are few examples of radioactive pollution. 

3. What are the Effects of Radiation Pollution? 

Ans. There can be several severe to minor effects caused by radiation pollution. High levels of contamination may lead to death from severe chronic diseases such as cancer, etc. In other cases, they may develop other symptoms of infections over the course of time.