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Nuclear Energy. Radiation. What is a Radioactive Element?. Radioactive elements have a nucleus that is unstable. It decays or breaks apart releasing energy in the process. Half-Life is the amount of time it takes for 1/2 of a group of nuclei to decay.

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Nuclear energy

Nuclear Energy

Radiation


What is a radioactive element
What is a Radioactive Element?

  • Radioactive elements have a nucleus that is unstable.

  • It decays or breaks apart releasing energy in the process.

  • Half-Life is the amount of time it takes for 1/2 of a group of nuclei to decay.

    example: 14C half-life is 5730 years


What happens when the body is exposed to radioactive elements
What happens when the body is exposed to radioactive elements?

  • Body treats radioactive nuclei the same as stable nuclei

    ex: Ca ingested by the body whether radioactive or not is sent to the bones.

  • Radiation may enter body by:

    Inhalation

    Ingestion

    Dermally



Types of radiation
TYPES OF RADIATION elements?

  • Alpha radiation(α) Helium nuclei (+) Dangerous inside our bodies, can be stopped by a sheet of paper or skin. Damages cells, beginning of cancer.


Types of radiation1
TYPES OF RADIATION elements?

  • Beta radiation (β) Electrons emitted with high energy. Equally as dangerous as alpha radiation inside our bodies, can be stopped by 1 piece of Aluminum foil.


Types of radiation2
TYPES OF RADIATION elements?

  • Gamma radiation( γ ) very high energy electromagnetic radiation. Penetrates bodies more so than X-rays. Need at least 6 inches of lead to stop. Size of human genes, so it can easily cause mutations.


What are positive uses of radiation
What are Positive uses of Radiation? elements?

  • Radiation treatment for cancer

  • X-rays

  • Nuclear medicine

  • Nuclear power

  • Other?


Measurement of radiation
MEASUREMENT OF RADIATION elements?

  • Millirems(mr) is a measurement of “whole body” exposure to radiation.

  • A Millirems is a certain # of tracks/gram of human tissue. Measures amount of damage done.


Natural background radiation per year
Natural Background radiation (per year)* elements?

  • Cosmic rays 35 mr

  • Air 5 mr

  • Building materials 34 mr

  • Food 25 mr

  • Ground 11 mr

  • 110 mr


Man made radiation
Man-made radiation* elements?

  • Coast to coast jet flight 5 mr/round trip

  • Color TV 1 mr/year

  • X-ray diagnosis 50 mr/exposure

  • Weapons fall-out 4 mr/year

  • Living within a 50 mile

    radius of a properly

    working nuclear plant 0.02 mr/year

    *Reference: Nuclear Power Quick Reference II, IEEE.


Health effects of radiation
HEALTH EFFECTS OF RADIATION elements?

  • amount of exposure

  • duration

  • type of radiation

  • health

  • age

  • part of body exposed

    All of these help to determine the effect of the exposure.


Low level radiation
Low-level radiation elements?

  • Less than 5 rems of exposure/year

  • even at this-increases likelihood of developing cancer

  • effects of continued low-level exposure is cumulative

    How many rems are safe?


High level radiation
High-level radiation elements?

  • Exposures over 5-10 rems/year

  • 650 rems kills all people within a few hours to a few days

  • 300 rems is the LD50 for people within 60 days

  • 50-250 rems sublethal dose (does not result in immediate death) suffer from radiation sickness first nausea and vomiting, then 2-14 days later diarrhea, hair loss, sore throat, reduction in blood platelets, hemorrhaging and bone marrow damage occur.

  • Sublethal doses can have delayed effects such as cancer, leukemia, cataracts, sterility, increase miscarriages, stillbirths, and early infant deaths.


Questions to think about
Questions to think about. elements?

1. What level of risk do we consider acceptable?

2. At what point do the benefits of x-rays, nuclear power and other uses outweigh the risks?