August 8, just over a month ago, at a military firing range in the Arkhangelsk region occurred explosion of the rocket booster, resulting in increased levels of radiation. This has caused alarm on both our country and abroad. Subsequently, the latter reported about the increase of background radiation in 16 times, but five days later after the explosion the inhabitants of the neighbouring village of nyonoksa was evacuated. This means that most likely on our planet there was one place contaminated by radiation. Unfortunately, they are today on Earth a lot more than we would like.
How dangerous is radiation?
Despite the fear that exists in respect of nuclear power plants, currently in most countries the industry ensures the safe handling of radioactive sources. To ensure that the levels of radiation suffered by the plant workers and population near them remain safe, it is important to control three variables: distance, radiation protection (shielding) and the time of exposure.
According to the epidemiological report of the Spanish nuclear centre Foro Nuclear effects of ionizing radiation on human health is substantial, when people are exposed to high doses of radiation. However, when the level of radiation exposure is very low, not to worry.
The report includes findings of several studies on the health of residents near contaminated zones, which have been conducted since 1940. Among them are not observed increased mortality from cancer in any of the studied areas, except for Chernobyl. Unfortunately, the experts recorded a significant increase in thyroid cancer among children.
Although in the twenty-first century improving the safety of nuclear power plants has minimized the risk of a new nuclear disaster with the same effect as Chernobyl, nuclear waste, and abuse remain a serious environmental problem. However, the recent explosion in Severodvinsk once again demonstrates to the world that the nuclear disaster of different magnitude can be repeated. But how many on our planet territories unsafe for living due to radiation? Let’s meet some of them.
The worst nuclear disaster in human history occurred, as you know, at Chernobyl. The consequences of the disaster that had radiated territory in radius of several kilometers, in addition to the deaths directly at the scene, killed more than 4000 people, causing cancer. To date, the exact number of people injured in the accident is not known.
Today Pripyat is a Ghost town located in the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl NPP surroundings. However, over time the radiation level is gradually reduced, so that today by taking the necessary precautions Pripyat can be visited.
Have you watched the HBO series, dedicated to the Chernobyl accident? Let's discuss it in our Telegram chat.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a Pacific island nation of Micronesia. In the period from 1946 to 1958 the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands. Unfortunately, these tests have left a mark that persists in some regions. Scientists conducted the study, according to the results of which are not recommended to occupy some of the Islands, as this can pose a threat to health. The island on which radioactive contamination exceeds Chernobyl, it is Enjebi, Runit, Bikini and Naen.
One of the most severe nuclear disasters in the world was the 2011 earthquake in Japan that triggered a tsunami that engulfed the coast and has affected the nuclear power plant Fukushima-1. Japan is one of the countries with the highest seismic activity in the world. So we should think where you don’t need to build nuclear power plants.
A natural disaster that caused the accident did not cause casualties, but a huge area is no longer habitable. The energy released during the earthquake was equivalent to the explosion of 200 million tons of dynamite. In addition, the level of radiation in food after an accident exceeded the legal maximum of 27 times. Fortunately, the radioactivity in this area is gradually eroding.
Station Mayak, Russia
Unfortunately Chernobyl is not the only nuclear accident in the USSR. The Soviet authorities have for many years tried to hide some of the radioactive emissions at the plant “Mayak”. In particular, emissions of radioactive waste in the river Techa in 1957, the explosion of the building where the waste was stored. This made the territory near the station Mayak one of the most radioactive places on the planet. After Chernobyl and Fukushima it is considered the third most serious nuclear accident is level 6 on INES scale (international scale of nuclear events).
About what other harm to the environment is caused by radiation can be read on our channel in Yandex.Zen.
Hanfords complex, United States of America
Millions of tons of nuclear waste were stored in Handford, USA, in the period from 1943 to 1945. This place is located on the plain in the center of Washington, and is still undergoing an exhaustive process of cleaning the territory from radioactive contamination. This area can be considered safe a few decades later.