Nuclear Power Plant Case Study
Nuclear power is a clean fuel, which results in little waste. In comparison with the traditional way of power generation, nuclear power is low-emission and high-efficiency in addition to being a carbon-free method of generating electricity.
In this assessment, we are trying to figure out the contaminant sources of the nuclear power plant. The biggest threat for human’s health is the radioactivity of the chemicals which are being used to created power. Generally speaking, the radioactivity usually comes from the waste of the nuclear power plant, which is created during the nuclear reprocessing. Based on the intensity of these chemicals, they are separated into 3 levels:
1. High-level …show more content…
One thing must be clearly pointed out is the radioactivity comes from the waste is the most harmful to health, which is why observations about this area are of high importance. In this case, we decided to focus on the high-level waste since it has the most adverse impacts on humans and the environment. Radioactivity will decrease with the increase of time. The traditional method of storing waste is burying underground until it doesn’t pose a threat to human and environmental health.
We decided to choose uranium as the representative to finish this risk assessment since it is one of the most important chemical for nuclear power plant to create energy.
2) Chemical of Concern (Uranium)
From the toxicological profile, which came from the Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences (DTHHS), we receive a clear idea about the uranium. When we talk about the chemical of the concerns, there are five factors associate with the chemicals.
The health effects of natural and depleted Uranium comes from direct chemical interaction rather than the radiation.
A fingertip size Uranium pellet can provide 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 1,780 pounds of coal and 149 gallons of oil.
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A nuclear power plant releases radioactivity when it works; however, during the working process, the radioactivity is controlled and within a safety limit. No data shows that people who live around the nuclear power plant get more than 50 mSv, which is safe for humans.
When it comes to the waste tank, the radioactivity is extremely high. This proves that we need to bury the high level waste liquid. Today’s technology allows that we have a clear understanding about how to deal with the nuclear waste. In general, we will convert the high level waste to glass and put it into the tank. Burying the tank underground will be the next step. After these steps, the contaminant source will be consider as much safer than before. But the waste management is still a big issue when we talk about nuclear safety.
4) Release Mechanisms
Simple terms, the location for nuclear power plants which being chose is always far away from residential area. To illustrate this, scientists choose the nuclear power plants location very carefully since the uranium’s release mechanism is easy to be transmission and it is not easy to fix. There are three ways contribute to the release