Welcome to What Is Radiation
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- Latest News & Background: News: Media Outlets Agree Incompetent Tepco Should Not Manage Fuel Cleanup & Removal. News about Fukushima and other hazardous situations may be confusing or misleading. We check the facts, then post and comment on the impact.
- What It Means To You: To discover what it means to please visit our Radiation Effects pages. This involves a little bit of science review, but is well worth learning to gain a true understanding of exactly what the risks are.
- What You Can Do About It: Depending on what the current threats are in your specific location, you can take appropriate measures to safeguard yourself and your family. Find out these answers on the Radiation Protection pages.
What Is Radiation: Focusing On What Matters
Geiger counter readings don’t always reveal potential health threats. This is because Geiger counters measure external exposure while the greatest potential health threats for the average person come from minuscule amounts of internal exposure over time.
What Is Radiation ‘s Internal Exposure Health Impact Long-Term?
Long-term internal exposure to radioactive contaminants is the least detectable yet has the most far-reaching health consequences. The problem is that when ingested, barely detectable amounts of radionuclides can irradiate nearby tissues continuously, causing tissue damage and eventually cancer. Depending on how the contaminants accumulate within the body, damage can be concentrated in the corresponding areas. Attempting to separate causes into what is radiation and what is something else can be difficult since we have so many carcinogens in our environment.
Sources Of Long-Term Exposure to Nuclear Radiation
- Naturally-Occurring Background Radiation – Since long before the Atomic Age radiation has been present from natural sources. These include radiation from outer space and from radioactive isotopes such as Carbon-14 as well as volcanic ash.
- Non-Nuclear Man-Made Radiation – It may surprise many people to learn that burning coal produces nuclear radiation.
- Fallout From Nuclear Detonations – This is often what people first causes people to ask “What is radiation?” Since the July 1st, 1945 test at the Trinity site in New Mexico, there have been 2053 atmospheric nuclear detonations. These posed an immediate threat to anyone downwind of the explosions at the time. The threat has diminished with time but has contributed to cancer rates.
- Depleted Uranium Dust – The use of depleted Uranium for ammunition on the battlefield in such places as the Middle East has produced substantial quantities of Uranium dust. Native populations have experienced a dramatic rise in birth defects and veterans have health complications from breathing the dust. Sorting out what is radiation and what is from other causes is difficult.
- Nuclear Accidents - Between 1951 and 2011 the question what is radiation? was answered with almost 100 nuclear accidents. These are from a number of causes, from weapons transport to meltdowns. Accidents at nuclear power facilities are relatively rare, but can be severe. Most notably these include the meltdowns at Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. Fukushima has got people asking, “what is radiation” again.
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