Thursday, March 17, 2011

Enigma of Nuclear radiation of the Fukushima Daiichi plant reactors in Japan

Enigma of Nuclear radiation of the Fukushima Daiichi plant reactors in Japan


Author: Phuleswari N

The reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant are boiling water reactors. The reactor which saw the explosion is Fukushima Daiichi 1. It was connected to the grid in November 1970, making it about 40 years old. There are six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi site, of which unit 1 is the oldest, according to the World Nuclear Association.


How does a nuclear reactor of this kind work?


Uranium 235 -- the fuel inside a nuclear reactor -- undergoes nuclear fission. This process emits a lot of heat energy which produces steam, and that steam turns a turbine, generating electricity.


What happened to the nuclear reactors during the quake?


Three of the six reactors at the site were in operation when the earthquake hit. The reactors are designed to shut down automatically when a quake strikes, and emergency diesel generators began the task of pumping water around the reactors to cool them down. However, these stopped about an hour later. The failure of the back-up generators has been blamed on tsunami flooding by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA.)


Sea water injection was started on Saturday, but then paused after a tsunami warning, according to the plant owners Tokyo Electric Power Company.


What could have caused the explosion at the plant?


  • Nuclear Energy

The blast was not caused by damage to the nuclear reactor but by a pumping system that failed as crews tried to bring the reactor's temperature down, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Saturday. He said the plant operator confirmed there was no damage to the steel container housing the reactor.


Malcolm Grimston, Associate Fellow for Energy, Environment and Development at London's Chatham House, said he believed the explosion had been caused by a build-up of pressure inside the inner containment of the reactor.


"Because they lost power to the water cooling system, they needed to vent the pressure that building up inside.


"My suspicion is that as the temperature inside the reactor was rising, some of the metal cans that surround the fuel may have burst and at high temperature, that fuel cladding can react with water to produce zirconium oxide and hydrogen.


"That hydrogen then will be part of the gases that need to be vented. That hydrogen then mixes with the surrounding air. Hydrogen and oxygen can then recombine explosively.


"So it seems while the explosion wasn't directly connected with the nuclear processes, it was indirectly connected, because the hydrogen was only present because of what was going on in the reactor core."


What is a meltdown, and can it be avoided here?


Japan's nuclear agency said there was a strong possibility that radioactive cesium detected at the plant after the blast was from the melting of a fuel rod.


Robert Alvarez, Senior Scholar at the U.S. Institute for Policy Studies, explained that a meltdown could happen when the water surrounding the core of the reactor boiled or leaked away, leaving the fuel rods exposed, allowing temperatures to rise to up to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit.


"The radiation is so intense it's impossible to deal with it. The control room would be uninhabitable," he said. "Without cooling, cladding surrounding the fuel can ignite, and the fuel itself start to melt.


"Then you have a huge amount of radioactive gases and particles, and if the primary and secondary containment fails, you have a large amount of radioactive gases escaping into the environment."


Whether a meltdown happens in this case depends on whether the pumping and cooling system can be restored in time, and whether if a meltdown starts, the secondary containment is strong enough to stay intact, according to Alvarez.


"If the pumping system is down there won't be enough pressure or water inside to cool the fuel rods down," he said.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/environment-articles/enigma-of-nuclear-radiation-of-the-fukushima-daiichi-plant-reactors-in-japan-4396654.html


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What You Need to Know About Electromagnetic Radiation

Robin Reichert

What is electromagnetic radiation?

There are several different types of radiation present in our surroundings on a day to day basis. Within the electromagnetic spectrum, radiation is either ionizing or non-ionizing. Ionizing radiation is harmful to humans, because exposure causes cells and genetic matter to mutate or change form. Non-ionizing radiation, while it has believed to be safe, is now proven to overheat cells, causing them damage as well. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) can be described in terms of a stream of photons, which are massless particles each traveling in a wave-like pattern and moving at the speed of light. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) is often called an electromagnetic field (EMF) when it falls within the lower frequencies. Electromagnetic radiation includes gamma radiation, X rays, ultraviolet radiation, visible radiation, infrared radiation, radar, and radio waves. Electromagnetic energy is emitted, or given off, by all matter in our universe at varying levels.

So, how do the energies and frequencies of our high-tech world affect our subtle energy field, the blueprint for the physical body? First, virtually every single electrical appliance, computer, electric wire, and especially high voltage lines produce electromagnetic fields, called EMFs. The problem is that EMFs are disruptive to our body's own natural energy field. When the electromagnetic energies, coupled with all the frequencies from microwaves, TVs, satellites, etc., penetrates the human energy field, they disrupt it, damage it, and interfere with its normal functioning. There is also an extreme low frequency radiation (ELF) that is emitted from military installations, industrial machines, microwave transmission systems, high voltage power lines, and dozens of other sources. In fact, we live in a virtual fish bowl of radiation; a chaos of random photon bombardment which affects every living cell of the human body.

What are the health effects of exposure to electromagnetic radiation?

Electromagnetic radiation adversely affects organic life at the molecular, cellular, biochemical and physiological levels. We are bombarded by low levels of radiation from all directions. For example, did you know that the following give off radiation emissions? Hair dryers, cell phones, power lines, transformers, and clock radios. Exposure to EMFs causes tissue damage by releasing electrons in the cells, called ionization. Some of the possible health complications from long-term exposure to low level radiation include digestive problems such as abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea; and can possibly alter and mutate DNA. Additional EMF signs of over exposure include drowsiness, chronic aches and pains, sleep disorders, irritability, loss of energy, and may eventually lead to more serious diseases such as cancer and autoimmune system deficiency.

EMR may also disrupt the critical balance and wreak havoc with the millions of electrical impulses that the body uses to regulate all cellular activity. As cell phones, microwaves, satellites and radio have all become much more widespread; people claim to suffer everything from headaches to cancer as a result of their exposure to this so-called "harmless" radiation. Today, there are up to four billion cell phone users being exposed every day to the dangers of electromagnetic radiation. In fact, numerous studies have shown that cell phone towers may cause headaches, cancer, tumors, fatigue, and sleep problems.

In addition, EMR can potentially distort and disrupt the cellular communication signals resulting in abnormal cellular metabolism and consequently illness. Hundreds of other studies on the negative effects of electromagnetic radiation to the immune system, enzyme synthesis, nervous system, learning, mood and behavioral pattern have been proven to be consistent and statistically significant. In animal studies, exposure to cell phone radiation for as little as two minutes is proven to have a damaging effect on the brain and blood vessels.

With the enormous increase of electromagnetic and radio wave radiation, increasing numbers of illnesses such as allergies, fatigue, asthma, heart disease, brain cancer, depression, and sleep disorders are on the rise. It normally takes about a decade for cancer to rear its ugly head, so the effects of EMR could very well be a disaster in the making.

How you can protect yourself from EMFs

The best protection against high-frequency electromagnetic fields is to keep a safe distance or use radiation protection products, such as those offered by Biopro Technology. BIOPRO neutralizes the excess EMR that your body attracts, thus rendering the radiation harmless. Biopro electromagnetic radiation protection products include cell phone and computer chips to help safeguard you and your family. As a leader in the field of bioenergetics, BIOPRO offers the most advanced and scientifically proven, patented technology available today!

Robin Reichert is an AFPA Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, and is currently a graduate student of natural health at Clayton College.

Protect yourself and your loved ones today! Please visit http://www.bioprosolutions.blogspot.com

Non-Ionizing Radiation

Matthew Eddington

Radiation today has become so mainstream that many do not even realize that there are several different classifications. Non-ionizing radiation is perhaps that most widely used today due to its exceptionally useful nature. Whether you realize it or not, this form of radiation can be found in virtually every home and office around the country. Microwave radiation, infrared radiation, and radio waves are probably the best known forms of non-ionizing radiation that are commonly used today, and can be found in tasks such as telecommunications, heating food, and broadcasting. Most professionals classify non-ionizing radiation into two sources: natural (from sunlight or lightning discharges) and man-made (scientific, medical, and household items).

Simply put, non-ionizing radiation refers (obviously) to any type of electromagnetic radiation that does not have enough energy to ionize molecules. Rather, the molecules only go through the excitation phase, where the radiation is sufficient enough only to increase the motion of the molecule. Ionization refers to the process by which a molecule is converted into an ion by adding or removing electrons.

The sources of non-ionizing radiation (NIR) originate and can be divided into two main areas: optical radiations and electromagnetic fields. Optical radiation is usually found around sources of visible light, characterized by high energy UV radiation and low energy IR radiation. Common sources of UV radiation are the sun, sun lamps, UV lasers, sterilization lamps, and discharge lamps, while sources of IR radiation come from extremely hot processes such and steel and glassmaking. Electromagnetic fields are most commonly seen in the form of microwaves, and can be found in telecommunications, mobile phones, the microwave in your home, and television sets. One of the most important uses of this form used medically is the common diagnostic use of MRI machines.

One of the greatest concerns that arise from discussions of radiation is the biological effects of exposure to the different forms. Since non-ionizing radiation does not ionize but rather only excites atoms, the greatest 'risk' associated with this form is often only a raised temperature of exposed items, since excess energy is often given off as heat. This same principle is used in microwaves to heat up food, and is the greatest example of how biological items are sensitive to heat. However, the amount of radiation that it would take to cause adverse health effects is so large it hasn't ever become a great issue. In fact in many business safety manuals the dangers from non-ionizing radiation falls into the 'acceptable' range.

The most important thing to do in any situation involving radiation is to exercise caution and follow the proper protocols. Through radiation gauges and other forms of radiation detection any risks associated with non-ionizing radiation can be eliminated or severely negated. Professional advice is crucial in any situation involving radiation, so be sure to seek it if you have any questions or concerns.

Many websites provide additional information on the topic of radiation exposure and safety. One such site worth visiting is http://www.apnga.com.

Matthew Eddington independently author's articles for WebDrafter.com, Inc. (http://www.webdrafter.com) for search engine marketing. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those solely of the author, and not of any other person, company, or organization. No guarantee or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, fitness, or use of the content herein.

How to Protect Against Radiation Exposure

Liz T. Jones

What is radiation? The kind of radiation that is used in medical procedures typically consists of x-rays, which are photons emitted from unstable atoms, and gamma rays, used in PET scans. In fact, naturally occurring photons and charged particles are all around all the time and even exist inside the human body. They come from space, from the atmosphere, the water and from the earth itself. One of the most concentrated earthbound sources is uranium. Nuclear medicine simply harnesses this natural phenomenon for use in diagnosis and treatment.

Side Effects
Women who are or may be pregnant or breastfeeding need to be especially careful. Fetuses are more susceptible to damage from radioactivity than adults. The use of an x-ray apron manufactured especially to block harmful radiation can minimize this risk. Males may also experience a lessening of their sperm production if exposed to enough radiation. This reduction could take years to return to normal. High doses could cause this reduction to be permanent. An x-ray apron can reduce this risk when used properly.

Besides fertility risks, radiation can cause cancer. Even though when properly used it can destroy cancer cells in the body, improper exposure can have the opposite effect.

Protective Lead Apron and Vest
The simplest solution in preventing undue exposure from radioactivity to patients, medical personnel and others who work with radioactive materials involves the proper use of lead aprons and vests. The vests can also come equipped with a thyroid collar to protect the thyroid glands in the neck. Since lead is an especially dense material, it can stop most charged particles, depending on the thickness used in the vests and aprons.

Other High-Risk Occupations
Besides medicine, the nuclear power industry, as well as manufacturing and development of isotopes used in nuclear medicine and research, are all areas where workers can be exposed to unacceptable doses of radiation. Uranium miners are at risk from excess exposure since uranium is the source of the radioactive isotopes used in nuclear medicine and nuclear power plants. Again, the proper wearing of an x-ray apron and/or lead vest can reduce to acceptable levels the dosage of radioactivity experienced by the wearer.

Conclusion
X-ray aprons and lead vests are essential tools for people who are exposed to radiation as an occupational hazard, such as nuclear medicine, mining and nuclear power plants in particular. The lead absorbs the harmful particles, therefore preventing harm to its wearer.

Author writes about a variety of topics. If you would like to learn more about lead apron, visit http://www.burmed.com/.