Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
are required to have armed
guards on duty. Electronic
systems also keep watch over
the surrounding area, which is
securely fenced in.
The transporting of
radioactive materials in the
United States by road, rail, air,
or water is done under rules
set by the NRC. Materials that
are only weakly radioactive
may be shipped in drums. More
dangerous materials must be
packed in very strong containers
that are designed to not leak
and not let signii cant amounts
of radiation escape. Safeguards
are also taken to protect the
spent nuclear fuel while it is
being transported.
All plant workers must be
trained in safety procedures.
They take part in regular drills
intended to make sure they know what to do in the event of a
disaster. The plant must also have a plan in place for handling
any emergency that might affect the area outside the plant.
o
Everyday Radiation
When people worry about
radiation, they are usually
thinking of a certain type—
ionizing radiation. We are
constantly exposed to ionizing
radiation, which is all around
us. It comes from space in
the form of the tiny particles
known as cosmic rays. It
is given off by radioactive
elements in rocks and soil.
The X-rays you get in a
hospital or at the dentist's
offi ce are ionizing radiation.
It only becomes a health
problem when the amount a
person receives gets too big.
What to Do with Nuclear Waste
Great care must be taken with nuclear waste. Some types,
however, are more dangerous than others. Most waste is only
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