Essay On Radioactivity

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USING RADIOACTIVITY One of the greatest events of twentieth century was the use of radioisotope as a source of energy and as medical and industrial tools. Using radioactivity has been a global issue owing to its very nature. When it is used for peaceful purposes, it is a triumph of science because it can solve energy problems in the form of nuclear energy but the side effects in the form of harmful radiation and harmful radioactive waste is the real limitations of science. This essay will attempt to analyze the application of science in the use of radioactivity and radioactive isotopes and how science is not so effective in dealing with the side effects. What is radioactivity? Radioactive isotopes are heavy nuclei of certain elements having extra neutrons. The extra neutrons in their nuclei cause them to be unstable so the nuclei break up spontaneously, emitting alpha, beta and gamma radiations. For example, The process of changing of unstable nucleus into another element is called transmutation.The above phenomenon is called Radioactivity. To save words we not go into the basic details of these radiations but these radiations make the radioisotopes our friend or foe. These radiations revolve round the issue of their use and disposal. Interestingly, both use and disposal are issues of concern. Disposal is an issue because the waste is non-biodegradable and the harmful radiations from them could cause cancer and alter genes in the DNA etc. The use of radioactivity is by itself an issue. Is it safe to use? Where shall the nuclear power plant be located? Where will the waste go? The most important use of radioiactivity is in the production of nuclear energy. There are two basic ways in which nuclear energy can be released from ... ... middle of paper ... ...es site requires detailed planning by the agencies of the country, such as the Department of Energy in the US. The long-term isolation of the high level waste is usually done in rural areas and it is suggested that planning, construction and operations of repositories would result in significant socio-economic effect(Finsterbausch 1980).The economic and social cost outweigh the social and economic benefits. Bibliography 1. http://www.chem.duke.edu/~jds/cruise_chem/nuclear/agriculture.html 2. http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf55.html 3. http://science.howstuffworks.com/nuclear-bomb.htm 4. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=316&page=28 5. http://www.ex.ac.uk/~yszhang/caesium/welcome.htm 6. http://www.epa.gov/radiation/radionuclides/ 7. http://mrws.decc.gov.uk/en/mrws/cms/Home/What_is_radiow/What_is_radiow.aspx

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