Radioactive pollution is a special type of physical
pollution which is related to all major life
supporting systems like air, water and soil.
• Radioactive (nuclear) pollution is a special form of
physical pollution related to all major life- supporting
systems – air,water and soil.
• Radioactivity is the phenomenon of emission of energy
from radioactive isotopes (i.e., unstable isotopes), such
as Carbon- 14, Uranium- 235, Uranium- 238, Uranium-
239, Radium- 226, etc.
• The emission of energy from radioactive substances in
the environment is often called as 'Radioactive Pollution'.
• Generally radiation hazards in envt. Comes from UV
rays, cosmic rays, visible,microwave radiation.
• Among these X rays which produce out 95% of radiation
• Nuclear energy(power plants) is used to produce
electricity .But fuel used in power plants is
radioactive,which is very dangerous & waste matrls are
• Here the nuclear waste matrls also emit radiation. (ie)
Radio active pollution.
• Generally ,the radiation exposure is measured by the unit
called roentgen (R).
• One Roentgen is defined as the quantity of radiation
which produces 1.6 × 1012 pairs of ions in 1 gm of air.
1.Natural resources :
1) Cosmic rays from outer space. The quantity
depends on altitude and latitude; it is more at higher
latitudes and high altitudes.
2) Emissions from radioactive materials from the
2.Man-made sources :
Nuclear power plants.
Mining and processing of radioactive ores.
Use of radioactive materials in nuclear
• The biological effects of nuclear radiation can be divided
into three groups
(i) Short term recoverable effects(small effect which
leads to loss of hair)
(ii) long term irrecoverable effects and
(iii) genetic effect
• Internal bleeding & blood vessel damage may show up
as red spots on the skin.
• Cancer is considered to be major health problem from
• Radiation can cause changes in DNA which is known as
• Acute exposures appears as burns & radiation
sickness(nausea,hair loss, weakness …)
• 0-50R No visible effects
• 50-200R Brief periods of nausea on day
of exposure. 50% may
experience radiation sickness
(nausea and vomiting), 5% may
require medical attention, no
deaths are expected.
• 200-450R Most members of the group
will require medical attention
because of serious radiation
sickness. 50% deaths within
two to four weeks.
• 450-600R Serious radiation sickness in
all members of the group,
medical attention required.
Death to more than 50% within
one to three weeks.Over
• 600R Severe radiation sickness.
100% deaths in two weeks
• Leakages from nuclear reactors, careless handling,
transport and use of radioactive fuels, fission products
and radioactive isotopes have to be totally stopped;
• Safety measures should be enforced strictly;
• Waste disposal must be careful, efficient and effective;
• There should be regular monitoring and quantitative
analysis through frequent sampling in the risk areas;
• Preventive measures should be followed so that
background radiation levels do not exceed the
• Appropriate steps should be taken against occupational
exposure; and Safety measures should be strengthened
against nuclear accidents.
1) High Level Wast es (HLW): High level wastes have a
very high- radioactivity per unit volume. Since these wastes
are too dangerous to be released anywhere in the
biosphere, therefore, they must be contained either by
converting them into inert solids (ceramics) and then buried
deep into earth or are stored in deep salt mines.
2) Medium level wast es (MLW): Medium level
wastes (e.g., filters, reactor components, etc.,) are
solidified and are mixed with concrete in steel drums before
being buried in deep mines or below the sea bed in
3) Low liquid wast es (LLW): Low liquid wastes
(e.g., solids or liquids contaminated with traces of
radioactivity) are disposed of in steel drums in concrete-
lined trenches in designated sites.
• Monitoring radioactivity around the disposal sites.
• Prevention of erosion of radioactive waste disposal sites.
• Prevention of any drilling activity in and around the
waste disposal site.
• Periodic and long- term monitoring of such disposal sites
and areas of naturally occurring uranium rich rocks.