Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Radiation
What is radiation?
Radiation is a form of energy that comes through a certain source and travels through space. Sources can vary from sun, earth, rocks, and medicines to machines. The energy produced by them is normally referred to as ionization radiation. Ionizing radiation is shaped by unstable atoms, which have both energy and mass in excess of stable atoms and can therefore cause damage. Radiation can either travel through space in forms of particles or waves. The particles radiation can be easily blocked via clothing while the wave’s radiation can be lethal and it can make way through concrete as well.
Radiation is measured through Geiger counters and in forms of Sieverts (μSv).
How dangerous can radiation be?
Every human being inherits certain amount of radiation every day. Walking under the sun, having an x-ray, going for a CT scan, going on a flight, every activity can cause a human body to receive radiation. The problem is not radiation, the real issue is the amount of radiation or in other words, the radiation levels that a human receives. Low levels of radiation can be considered safe while huge levels of radiation can even be fatal. A human on average receives 10 μSv in a today and 3600 μSv in a year. A normal 5 hours 30 mins’ flight gives a dose of 40 μSv while an x-ray produces a dose equal to 100 μSv. All these mentioned doses are acceptable for the human body but anything that goes above the level of 100,000 μSv can result in diseases and even death. The risk of cancer increases the moment a person passes the 100,000 μSv level and above 200,000 level is fatal.
Effects of radiation?
Radiation can cause damage to the human body tissues resulting in burns, cancer and even death. Even high level of sun exposure can cause sunburns as the ultraviolet rays are a form of radiation. On a more profound note, radiation weakens or breaks the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) of a human body causing a misbalance in the cells. The misbalance then furthers damages the cells or kills them to such an extent that the process gives birth to life-threatening diseases like cancer. Children are easily effected by high level of radiation as their cells are not strong enough to resist the threat from radiation. Incidents in the past where radiation levels crossed the dreaded 200,000 μSv marked, such as the one in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl and Fukushima, has resulted in child mortality and cancer.
What is alpha radiation and its dangers?
Alpha radiation is also known as alpha decay, is a kind of radioactive rot in which a nuclear core discharges an alpha molecule and in this manner changes or "rots" into an iota with a mass number that is diminished by four and a nuclear number that is lessened by two.
Alpha radiation is not detectable or easily measured. Even the most common devices such as CD V-700 are not able to detect alpha particles until and unless beta radiation is also produced with it. The hi-tech devices that are able to measure alpha-radiation requires a professional training program otherwise it cannot be functioned by a layman. Moreover, as alpha-radiation is not penetrative, it cannot be spotted or measured by any device even through a meager layer of water, blood, dust, paper, or other material. And lastly it only ventures a short distance in the air before vanishing.
There are two types of radiations, ionizing and non-ionizing and alpha radiation is categorized as ionizing. Ionizing is not as dangerous as non-ionizing, because of the following reasons, alpha radiation is not able to infiltrate skin and alpha-discharging materials can be harmful to people only if the materials are inhaled, gulped, or penetrates through open injuries. Otherwise alpha radiation is not able to enter through clothing.
What is beta radiation and its effects?
Beta radiation is the radiation produced when the radioactive decay starts to release radioactive particles. It is the non-ionizing and it travels in the form of waves. Beta radiation is considered dangerous as it has the ability to penetrate through any solid or concrete material such as walls.
Exposure to beta radiation can have deferred wellbeing impacts on the body such as growth or conceptive cell harm. Since impacts from beta radiation introduction are not prompt and there is no real way to figure out whether the contact has brought about aggressive impacts, wellbeing issues can emerge months to years later. The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) further clarifies that deferred impacts happen from tissue harm by beta outflow and that more exposure to beta radiation expands the danger of tumor.
How does Fukushima compare to Chernobyl?
Fukushima and Chernobyl are two of only nuclear disasters in the history of the planet that were rated maximum on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. Fukushima which took place recently in 2011 in Japan and the Chernobyl accident which happen in 1986 is contrasting in nature when compared to each other. The causes were different; Fukushima disaster was triggered due to an earthquake while Chernobyl was purely because of human error. In Fukushima, a series of tremors disabled the cooling pumps of the nuclear power plant resulting in overheating of the reactors. Reactors thereafter exploded, causing massive radiation emissions being released. Though the story of Chernobyl is partially the same, the cause was due to a failed testing experiment.
The Japanese government was very quick to realize the magnitude of the disaster and immediately implemented emergency. They started evacuation process instantly, halted any flights or ships movement above or from the area and started distributing potassium iodide to protect the public from thyroid cancer. The Soviet government was very slow to react; they did evacuate the public soon after the disaster but did not take any preventive measures until the radiation had spread to miles. It was not until Sweden detected the radioactive waves from USSR that the world came to know about the Chernobyl accident. This caused a massive outbreak of thyroid cancer in the region.
Lastly, according to separate studies in 2013 by United Nations and World Health Organization, no deaths occurred in the aftermath of Fukushima. At Chernobyl, 30 workers died immediately while many continued to be affected with leukemia and other form of diseases.
Visit Chernobyl zone yourself!And You will see:
Pripyat Ghost TownPripyat ghost town is 1 of 7 scariest places around the world
Radar system Duga-1Radar Duga-1 was secret radiolocation station in USSR
And many more exciting places with Chernobyl tours