RADIATION, PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
is a fact of life. We live in a world in which radiation is naturally present every-where. Light and heat from nuclear reactions in the Sun are essential to our existence.Radioactive materials occur naturally throughout the environment, and our bodiescontain radioactive materials such as carbon-14, potassium-40 and polonium-210 quitenaturally. All life on Earth has evolved in the presence of this radiation.Since the discovery of X rays and radioactivity more than 100 years ago, wehave found ways of producing radiation and radioactive materials artificially. Thefirst use of X rays was in medical diagnosis, within six months of their discoveryin 1895. So a benefit from the use of radiation was established very early on,but equally some of the potential dangers of radiation became apparent in thedoctors and surgeons who unwittingly overexposed themselves to X rays in theearly 1900s. Since then, many different applications of radiation and radioactivematerials have been developed.We can classify radiation according to the effects it produces on matter, into ionizingand non-ionizing radiation.
includes cosmic rays, X rays and theradiation from radioactive materials.
includes ultraviolet light,radiant heat, radio waves and microwaves.This book deals with ionizing radiation, a term, which for simplicity, is often shortenedto just radiation. It has been prepared by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)in co-operation with the National Radiological Protection Board (United Kingdom) as abroad overview of the subject of ionizing radiation, its effects and uses, as well as themeasures in place to use it safely.As the United Nations agency for nuclear science and its peaceful applications, theIAEA offers a broad spectrum of expertise and programmes to foster the safe useof radiation internationally. It has a statutory responsibility for the development ofsafety standards that are applicable to managing the wide variety of applicationsthat use radiation. It provides assistance to its Member States on the application ofthose standards through technical co-operation projects such as training courses andadvisory services. It also facilitates information exchange through conferences, andpublications, such as this one.
Chapter 9Occupational exposure to radiation 39
Artificial sources 40/ Natural sources 41/ Total doses 42
Chapter 10Environmental pollution 43
Nuclear weapon tests 43/ Chernobyl accident 45/ Radioactive discharges 47
Depleted uranium 49/ Managing contaminated areas 49/ Total doses 50
Chapter 11Nuclear power 51
Nuclear reactors 51
Chapter 12Waste management 53
Decommissioning 55/ Disposal criteria 56/ Other waste management practices 57
Chapter 13Emergencies 59
Nuclear emergencies 60/ Countermeasures 61Intervention standards 62/ Public information 63Other radiological emergencies 63
Chapter 14Risks from radiation sources 65
Accidents involving radiation sources 65Lost sources causing contamination incidents 67/ Radioactive Dispersal Devices 68
Chapter 15Transport of radioactive materials 69Appendix A
Symbols and Units 79/ Scientific notation 79Prefixes 79/ Symbols 80/ Units 80
Selected References 81
IAEA Publications 81/ ICRP Publications 81/ UNSCEAR Publications 81
OECD/NEA 81/ European Commission 81
Chapter 1/ IntroductionContents
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