Electromagnetic Radiation and Human Health

EMF Protection

This ebook is the complete guide to learning about electrical sensitivity and how to prevent getting it in your life. You will learn what electrical sensitivity is, and what causes it. Once you have started learning about it you will learn how to get rid of it and protect yourself from the dangers of electrical sensitivity. You will also learn how to heal yourself. This book is the product of careful research by the scientific and medical communities into the dangers and preventative measures of electrical sensitivity. ES is one of the most under-diagnosed conditions in the world right now, and this ebook is designed to education people as to how it works and how to prevent it. Do not let it take hold of your family; take control and prevent it now! Do not let yourself get any more hurt; learn about this condition and fight it! More here...

How To Beat Electrical Sensitivity Summary

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Author: Lloyd Burrell
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The writer presents a well detailed summery of the major headings. As a professional in this field, I must say that the points shared in this book are precise.

As a whole, this book contains everything you need to know about this subject. I would recommend it as a guide for beginners as well as experts and everyone in between.

Some Practical Uses of Electromagnetic Radiation

Electromagnetic radiation has been applied using remote sensing techniques to several fields of human activity. These include However, owing to near-total absorption of ultra high frequency waves in the atmosphere, only a limited part of the electromagnetic spectrum is used for remote sensing purposes and this lies largely in the visible, infrared, microwave and radiowave parts of the spectrum. Selection of the specific part of the spectrum to be used in any particular case depends upon the photon energy, frequency and atmospheric transmission characteristics of the spectrum. Table 6.2 gives the ranges of wavelengths normally used for different remote sensing techniques.

Processes affecting electromagnetic radiation

Mie Rayleigh Wave

Electromagnetic radiation is everywhere, coming from the Sun in the form of heat and light, and from all the objects around us. What happens to that electromagnetic radiation when it reaches an object That will depend on the wavelength of the incident light, the angle at which it strikes the surface and the nature of the surface, to name some of the most important. There are two important processes that can occur called absorption and scattering. These will be discussed after a brief review of the processes of reflection and refraction. The impression is often gained that scattering is little more than a type of reflection. A complete description of scattering, however, is much more than reflection and therefore is beyond the scope of this book. Bohren (1987) says that reflection and refraction are simple forms of scattering and that the former two processes get treated separately in textbooks merely as an historical artefact, because they were described first. With scattering there...

Electromagnetic radiation

Electromagnetic radiation is one of the fundamental forms of energy. It is associated with oscillating electric and magnetic fields hence the name at right angles to each other and to the direction in which the radiation is traveling. It can be regarded as pure energy traveling either in waves or as a stream of particles, called photons. Although the two descriptions sound contradictory, in fact they are not. All types of electromagnetic radiation travel at the same speed, whether it is pictured as an advancing wave or as a stream of photons. In a vacuum it travels at 2.9979 x 108 meters per second 186,629 miles per second (299,790 km s-1). This is known as the speed of light, light being a particular waveband of electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic radiation travels more slowly through a medium, such as air or water. All bodies that are hotter than their surroundings emit electromagnetic radiation. The Sun is hotter than the space surrounding it and that Electromagnetic...

Radiation Exposure in Routine Transportation

The radiation exposure outside the containers is due to gamma rays and neutrons that penetrate the shielding material that surrounds the spent fuel assemblies. The most important radiation component is the 662-keV gamma-ray from cesium-137, although gamma rays from the shorter-lived cesium-134 (T 2.06 yr) and cobalt-60 (T 5.27 yr) also are significant for fuel that has been only recently removed from the reactor. The flux of these gamma rays is greatly reduced by absorption in the walls of the cask.

Electromagnetic Fields

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) emanate from any wire carrying electricity. Members of the general public are routinely exposed to these fields in their everyday lives. Possible effects associated with the electric and magnetic fields from transmission lines (or similar electrical sources) fall into two categories The issue of whether there are long-term health effects associated with exposure to fields from transmission lines and other sources has been investigated for several decades. There is little evidence that electric fields cause long-term health effects. Estimates of magnetic-field exposures have been associated with certain health effects in studies of residential and occupational populations. Research in this area is continuing to determine whether such associations might reflect a causal relationship. National and international organizations, such as IEEE, formerly known as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, have established public and occupational EMF...

Radiation Exposures at Chernobyl and Vicinity Effects on Cleanup Personnel

Apart from the radiation-associated thyroid cancers among those exposed in childhood, the only group that received doses high enough to possibly incur statistically detectable increased risks is the recovery operation workers. Studies of these populations have the potential to contribute to the scientific knowledge of the late effects of ionizing radiation. Many of these individuals receive annual medical examinations, providing a sound basis for future studies of the cohort. It is, however, notable that no increased risk of leukemia, an entity known to appear within 2-3 years after exposure, has been identified more than 10 years after the accident. 28, p. 517

Radiation Exposure and Radiation Dose

Radiation hazards are related to the magnitude of the radiation exposure or radiation dose incurred. The two terms are often treated in casual usage as interchangeable, but, in fact, their definitions are quite different. The dose is a quantitative measure of the impact of radiation, closely related to the energy deposited by incident radiation. Exposure is now used in two senses (1) in a specialized sense in connection with the roentgen unit (see Section 3.2.2) and (2) as a general qualitative term to indicate the incidence of radiation on living or inanimate matter 2, p. 46 . Aside from the special case of the roentgen, dose is the appropriate term for quantitative descriptions, whereas exposure describes a general qualitative situation. Thus, for example, reports of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) carry descriptive titles such as Ionizing Radiation Exposure of the Population of the United States 3 , whereas the quantitative results presented are...

The Spectral Distribution of the Sun as a Radiation Source

Global Solar Radiation Extraterrestrial

In this chapter we briefly describe the solar spectral distribution, or distribution of energy with respect to wavelength, over the region of the electromagnetic spectrum of use to renewable energy systems. The sun radiates energy at wavelengths ranging from the X-ray and gamma ray spectral region out into the very long wavelength radio spectral region. We will restrict our discussion, for the most part, to solar energy in the wavelength region between the ultraviolet (UV) of wavelength 250 nanometers (nm) and the near infrared (NIR) with wavelength of 4000 nm or 4.0 micrometers.

Solar wind cosmic rays and radioactive decay

Nitrogen And Oxygen Atoms Colliding

Light, radiant heat, gamma rays, X rays, microwaves, and radio waves are all forms of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation travels as waves or particles called photons moving at the speed of light. The various forms differ in their wavelengths, which is the distance between one wave crest and the next. The shorter the wavelength, the more energy the radiation has. A range of wavelengths is called a spectrum. The Sun emits electromagnetic radiation at all wavelengths, so its spectrum is wide. The diagram shows the electromagnetic spectrum. The electromagnetic spectrum The electromagnetic spectrum

How the Power Is Extracted

Trough Reflector Cleaning Segs

AC-DC conversion is also the process that occurs in a semiconductor junction immersed in electromagnetic waves. The action of the electric field of the wave on the electrons in the semiconductor junction layers is not unlike the effect of the tilting table on the pin balls. When the electric field across the junction due to the electromagnetic wave, is in the direction of reducing the charge separation field, electrons will start to find their way across the junction, and a current flows (see Fig. 3.7). On the other hand, in the half cycle of the wave when the electric field enhances the charge separation field, electrons continue to be prevented from crossing the junction. The averaged charge flow across the junction thus contributes to a DC current through the semiconductor diode resulting from its immersion in the AC electromagnetic wave. At light frequencies the process is more complicated owing to quantum effects and photon absorption, which enhances the current generation...

Heat reflecting and heat absorbing glazing

These products are usually considered for application in situations where overheating poses a risk. Visible light and solar heat gain are both parts of the electromagnetic spectrum of energy emitted by the sun. The interaction of glazing with light and solar heat has three components reflection, absorption and transmission.

Brief Illustration Of The Uranium Fuel Cycle


In the DIF method (Brief 17a), gaseous UF6 is pumped through long pipes with porous walls possessing microscopic holes which slightly lighter 235UF6 can slip through a little faster than slightly heavier 238UF6. Thus the gas coming through the porous walls is a fraction more enriched in 235UF6. By repeated recycling of the UF6 gas through compressors in hundreds of stages, the U-235 fraction is gradually increased, the number of stages being determined by the desired final U-235 enrichment. In the electromagnetic or 'calutron' isotope separation method, uranium atoms are ionized and when passing through an electromagnetic field, heavier ions (U-238) follow a slightly different path than lighter (U-235) ions so they can be focussed at two different collection points. However this only works at very low pressures (a millionth of an atmosphere) and hence calutron throughputs are very low. They also require a lot more energy and cost per separated U-235 atom than in the DIF case.

Nitrides Oxynitrides and Oxysulfides

We have seen that introduction of nitrogen into the TiO2 lattice has a favorable effect in terms of sensitizing it to the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum (Table 6). The line between doping and new phase formation is one of degree and the studies on nitridation of a given parent oxide exemplify this point. Thus the band gap of Ta2O5 shrinks from 4.0 eV to 2.1 eV by nitriding it in a NH3 atmosphere to yield

Neuropsychological and adaptive outcomes in children

Understanding late effects of tumors and their treatment (Table 13b.4) requires an appreciation of developmental factors. Brain development is a dynamic, interactive and adaptive process that unfolds over time 46 . Children who sustain a brain injury continue to develop in the context of the effects of that injury, which can affect multiple systems and processes over time. Skills that are yet to be developed can be compromised by early injury and processes undergoing rapid development are more vulnerable 23 . Late effects of injury can emerge over time as specific developmental stages and contexts demand mastery of more complex tasks and behaviors. Brain-related factors such as location of tumor, treatments, associated complications, and genetic differences need to be considered along with developmental factors such as age at diagnosis treatment and time since treatment, as well as contextual factors including family functioning, educational resources, social cultural influences, and...

The handling of chemicals

Directive 67 548 on the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous chemicals is often - but wrongly - described as the first piece of Community law on the environment. (Strictly speaking, that honour belongs to directive 59 221 on ionizing radiation, which preceded the 1967 law by eight years.)

Phase I focus on the common market

The earliest initiatives on the environment arose out of the Euratom treaty which, while it was concerned mainly with research, investment and supplies, makes reference in Article 2(b) to the need to 'establish uniform safety standards to protect the health of workers and of the general public' (emphasis added). More specifically, Article 30 of the Euratom treaty mentions the need to lay down basic standards 'for the protection of the health of workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionising radiation'. In 1959, this was used as the basis for the first piece of European environmental law, Directive 59 221, which established the basic standards for the protection of the health of workers and the public against the dangers arising from ionizing radiation. One directive and two amendments (59 221, 62 1633 and 66 45) developed by Euratom on the basis of Article 30 of the Euratom treaty, establishing standards to protect workers and the public from ionizing...

Absorption Of Radiation By Atmospheric Gases

Spectra Atmospheric Absorption H2o

Why molecules absorb in particular regions of the spectrum can be determined only through quantum chemical calculations. In general, the geometry of the molecule explains, for example, why HzO, C02, and 03 interact strongly with radiation above 400 nm, but N2 and 02 do not. In H20, for instance, the center of the negative charge is shifted toward the oxygen nucleus and the center of positive charge toward the hydrogen nuclei, leading to a separation between the centers of positive and negative charge, a so-called electric dipole moment. Molecules with dipole moments interact strongly with electromagnetic radiation because the electric field of the wave causes oppositely directed forces and therefore accelerations on electrons and nuclei at one end of the molecule as compared with the other.

Radioactive pollution

Seaweeds can concentrate radioiodine with great rapidity and fish absorb a variety of radioactive substances. In addition radioactive substances can bioaccumulate in marine animals in a similar way to heavy metals. The effects on marine organisms are not fully understood but may include genetic disturbances and increased mortality both in young stages and in adults. Interestingly, many marine invertebrates can withstand radiation doses that would kill people. Some deep-water marine shrimps, exposed to doses of natural radiation sufficient to debilitate people, remain unharmed. A variety of cancers in humans, such as childhood leukaemia, is linked to radiation exposure.

Surface Receipt Of Solar Radiation And Its Effects

Solar Radiation Element Climatology

1 Radiation Electromagnetic waves transfer energy (both heat and light) between two bodies, without the necessary aid of an intervening material medium, at a speed of300 X 106m s-1 (i.e. the speed of light). This is so with solar energy through space, whereas the earth's atmosphere allows the passage of radiation only at certain wavelengths and restricts that at others.

Terrestrial radiation and the greenhouse effect

The greater absorption and emission of thermal infrared photons by atmospheric gases is associated with the low photon energies of infrared radiation emitted by the Earth's surface and the corresponding low vibrational and rotational energy transitions of many polyatomic atmospheric gases. Diatomic molecules N2 and O2 have no dipole moment, and they lack vibration-rotation transitions at the small photon energies corresponding to terrestrial radiation (Peixoto and Oort, 1992). Therefore, these gases do not interact with electromagnetic radiation in the longwave spectrum.

Power Supply Inefficiency Comes From Its Design

The alternating current leaves the transformer and is passed to the rectifier. The rectifier uses a switching transistor (and a few other components) to produce unregulated direct current. This output is then filtered by capacitors and other circuitry to minimize electromagnetic interference (EMI) emissions.

Multiplication factor See effective multiplication factor

A discrete unit or quantum of electromagnetic radiation, which carries an amount of energy proportional to the frequency of the radiation. (See Section A.4.) Potassium (K). The 19th element (Z 19) the natural radionuclide 40K in the body contributes substantially to the total human radiation exposure. (See Section 3.5.1.)

Atmospheric Radiation and Photochemistry

Blackbody Temperature Earth

Radiant energy, arranged in order of its wavelengths X, is called the spectrum of radiation. The electromagnetic spectrum is shown in Figure 4.1. The Sun radiates over the entire electromagnetic spectrum, although, as we will see, most of the energy is concentrated near the visible portion of the spectrum, the narrow band of wavelengths from 400 to 700 nm (0.4-0.7 pm). Our interest will be confined to the so-called optical region, which extends over the near ultraviolet, the visible, and the near infrared, the wavelength range from 200 nm to 100 pm. This range covers most of the solar radiation and that emitted by the Earth's surface and atmosphere. Three interrelated measures are used to specify the location in the electromagnetic spectrum, the wavelength X, the frequency v, and the wavenumber v X 1. Frequency v and wavelength X are related by v c X, where c is the speed of light. In the ultraviolet and visible portion of the spectrum it is common to characterize radiation by its...

Nuclear Facts And Fables

Fact The word radiation is repeatedly misused by lay people and substituted for radioactive particles (see below). In physics, gamma radiation from radioactive processes falls in the same class as visible light radiation, infrared heat radiation, and radio waves. All are made up of massless electromagnetic waves or evanescent photons which can be absorbed or reflected once, but do not stick as some people mistakenly believe. Like heat which emits infrared photons, a little bit of radiation is harmless and even beneficial (e.g. a heating pad), but too much can kill you (heat in an industrial furnace incinerates you). Nuclear reactor cores emanate alpha and beta particles, neutrons, and gammas. Emanations with mass such as the beta particles (which are fast electrons) and alphas (Helium ions) are stopped by less than a millimeter of metal or concrete, while neutrons are absorbed or reflected back into the reactor core. Only gamma radiation emitted by decaying fission products requires...

Solar photovoltaic technology

The solar cell is made from a thin layer of semiconducting material. The key feature of this semiconductor layer is that it will absorb photons of radiation in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Each photon of light energy is absorbed by an electron within the solid material. In absorbing the energy, the electron acquires an electrical potential. This potential can be made available as electrical energy, as an electric current. The current is produced at a specific fixed voltage called the cell voltage. The cell voltage is a property of the semiconducting material. For silicon it is around 0.6 V.

The Behavior Of Light

Mirage Caused Refraction

All objects emit electromagnetic radiation. Those that emit at least some of their radiation as visible light, like light bulbs and stars, illuminate. Other objects, like this book, emit radiation in the infrared at wavelengths people cannot see. The book's page is visible because of another property of light reflection. This property is observed when light from a light bulb or the Sun bounces back from a surface, like the page of this book. Some surfaces reflect light better than others for example, a snowfield reflects a much higher percentage of the light that hits it than a mud pit. The measure of the reflectivity of a surface is called its albedo.

The Science Of Remote Sensing

Satellites allow the Earth's surface, atmosphere, and oceans to be observed from space. Similar to humans, satellites have sensors that serve as their eyes. Satellites can see better than humans, however, because their sensors can detect much more of the Sun's electromagnetic energy, that is, all the energy that comes from the Sun. This energy travels through space from the Sun to the Earth and is composed of several ranges of wavelengths. The Maya causeway (old remnants of trade routes used by the ancient Mayan culture) was detected through analysis of wavelengths in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Even though old paths may not be visible to the human eye, they appear different from vegetation in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Because they are discernable with imaging equipment, these ancient routes can be discovered, mapped, analyzed, and explored.

Rainfall remote sensing

Transmitter that switches on and off to transmit a pulse of electromagnetic energy via an antenna. The pulses are typically spaced on the order of a millisecond apart. Radar frequencies are divided into several bands, but practical considerations favor longer S-band and C-band wavelengths of 4 to 15 cm for stationary ground-based radars. These radars require larger diameter antennas that are more costly to operate than the antennas required for shorter wavelength radars deployed on satellites, aircraft, and ships (Yuter, 2003). Most precipitation radars use a circular parabolic antenna for both transmission and reception. Passive methods are based on the radiative intensities emitted or reflected by cloud and precipitation hydrometeors using visible, IR, and microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. IR and visible methods are physically indirect because precipitation is derived from the radiative properties near the cloud top. Visible methods are less widely applied with the...

Observations of Health Effects of Chernobyl Accident Overall Summary up to

The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was the most serious accident involving radiation exposure. It caused the deaths, within a few days or weeks, of 30 workers and radiation injuries to over a hundred others. It also brought about the immediate evacuation, in 1986, of about 116,000 people from the areas surrounding the reactor and the permanent relocation, after 1986, of about 220,000 people from Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. It caused serious social and psychological disruption in the lives of those affected and vast economic losses over the entire region. Large areas of the three countries were contaminated, and deposition of released radionuclides was measurable in all countries of the northern hemisphere. continues, there may be more cases during the next decades. Apart from this increase, there is no evidence of a major public health impact attributable to radiation exposure 14 years after the accident. There is no scientific evidence of increases in...

Ultraviolet Radiation

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation that lies between visible light and x rays in its energy and wavelength. It is a component of the radiation that reaches the Earth from the sun. The broad UV band, having wavelengths between 190 nanometers (nm) and 400 nm, is conventionally divided into three parts UV-A or near-UV (315 to 400 nm), UV-B or mid-UV (280 to 315 nm), and UV-C or far-UV (190 to 280 nm). Much of the incident solar UV radiation is absorbed by gases in the earth's atmosphere and never reaches the earth's surface. This is fortunate, because UV radiation can chemically alter important biological molecules, including proteins and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and thereby cause damage to living systems. The most familiar effect on humans is sunburn, which is the manifestation of UV's damage to outer skin cells. Long-term effects of excessive UV exposure include skin cancer, eye damage (cataracts), and suppression of the immune system.

The Recommended Nature of the Health Standard

The NAS panel recommended .the use of a standard that sets a limit on the risk to individuals from radiation exposure 16, p. 4 . A plausible choice, as implied in the NAS discussion of precedents, would be an incremental risk in the neighborhood of 10 6 to 10 5 per year 16, p. 5 . Such a risk range can be translated into a radiation dose limit, based on an assumed dose-response relationship, but risk is here the fundamental criterion.10

General Considerations in Reactor Safety Assessments of Commercial Reactor Safety

For commercial reactors in the non-Soviet world, which account for the largest part of the reactor experience, the safety record is excellent. As of the end of 2003, these reactors had a cumulative operating experience of about 10,100 reactor-years, of which about 2870 reactor-years were logged by U.S. reactors.1 There has been no accident in any of these reactors, including the 1979 Three Mile Island (TMI) accident, that has caused the known death of any nuclear plant worker from radiation exposure or that has exposed any member of the general public to a substantial radiation dose.

Studies of Health Effects of TMI

The release of radioactivity from the Three Mile Island plant and the resulting radiation exposures were too small to have produced any observable effects, if one accepts official accounts of the magnitude of the releases and standard dose-response relationships. One or even 10 cancer deaths would be lost among a total of over 300,000 natural cancer deaths. Nonetheless, there have been persistent claims of health problems from TMI. In response to some of the early concerns, the Pennsylvania Health Secretary stated in a news release After careful study of all available information, we continue to find no evidence to date that radiation from the nuclear power plant resulted in an increased number of fetal, neonatal, and infant deaths. That simply isn't the case 14 . This was based on an examination of death rates near TMI and in Pennsylvania as a whole, before and after the accident. These results are consistent with the belief that there is virtually no possibility that there have been...

Effects on Plant Workers and Firemen

A total of 237 people were suspected of having ARS and this diagnosis was confirmed for 134, including the 28 who died. The deaths among the ARS group were strongly correlated with the magnitude of the radiation exposures. The fractional death rates at different exposure levels were 0 out of 41 up to 2.1 Sv, 1 out of 50 from 2.2 to 4.1 Sv, 7 out of 22 from 4.2 to 6.4 Sv, and 20 out of 21 above 6.4 Sv 28, p. 523 . In the decade following the accident, from 1987 to 1996, an additional 14 of the original 237 patients died, but these deaths do not appear to be primarily attributable to radiation exposure 31, p. 187 .

Human Consequences for People in the Affected Region

. there were no health disorders that could be attributed directly to radiation exposure. The accident had substantial negative psychological consequences in terms of anxiety and stress . 37, p. 32 While disclaiming an intent to minimize the seriousness of the situation for health and well-being or the role played by the exposure to ionizing radiation, the report suggests giving priority to improving basic primary health care, diet, and living conditions 32, p. 8 . Among the adverse consequences of the Chernobyl accident, the report describes the social demoralization which has accompanied the dislocation of populations and their living with a poorly understood hazard. It suggests that determined efforts need to be made at national and local level to promote a balanced understanding of the health effects of radiation among the public, many of whom at present suffer distress as a result of ill-founded fears 32, p. 10 . One of the difficulties in assessing the health impacts of the...

Effects of Nuclear Bombs Experience at Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Contrary to what is commonly supposed, the bulk of the fatalities at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were due to burns caused either by the flash at the instant of the explosion or from the numerous fires that were kindled, and were not a direct consequence of the amount of atomic radiation received. Indeed, the Joint Commission the ABCC estimated that over half the total deaths were due to burns and another 18 due to blast injury. Nonetheless, ionizing radiation accounted for a substantial number of deaths, possibly 30 . 7, p. 12

Categories of Carcinogenicity

Determining carcinogenicity can be a harrowing and lengthy process. For example, the debate over possible risks posed by electromagnetic fields (EMF) has been raging for decades. Magnetic fields originate from everything with an electrical current. Elevated field levels can occur in homes close to power lines, or occasionally from improper household wiring. A form of EMF called extremely low frequency (ELF) electric and magnetic fields recently was classified as possibly carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

A Mlange Of Environmental Issues Extremely Low Frequency ELF Magnetic Fields

Unistrut Mounting Brackets

As electromagnetic fields from high-voltage transmission lines, household appliances, and more recently mobile (cellular) phones, have received wide media attention, with concerns raised about possible adverse health effects of such exposure, we shall consider the underlying factors pertaining to electric and magnetic fields, and concern ourselves with the assessment and or potential risks to health. After all, the human brain is an electromagnetic organ, and the most complex shouldn't some effect be expected We begin by raising the questions, What is an electromagnetic field, what is the meaning of field, and how do they work Additional questions will, of course, follow. Figure 8.1 depicts the magnetic field levels of common household appliances. Of particular importance is the fact that the electromagnetic spectrum spans a vast range of frequencies. Electric and magnetic fields can both be characterized by their wavelengths, frequencies, and amplitude or strength. Figure 8.2 shows...

Assessing the Compensating Differentials Approach

And their electromagnetic fields raises cancer risk. If no one is aware of this fact, then homes close to these power lines will not sell for a discount. 38 Or consider the evolution of home prices in Hong Kong in the wake of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic. One analyst found that apartment prices fell by an average of 3 percent in buildings housing SARS-affected tenants.39 If prices return to their pre-SARS level, will this mean that the conditions that facilitated the spread of SARS have been corrected or simply that people have forgotten about this particular threat 40 38. Conversely, the hedonic approach may overemphasize environmental threats that people think are real but that scientists believe are minor. Continuing with this earlier example, if home buyers greatly fear proximity to power lines, then homes located near them will sell for a deep price discount. If electromagnetic field exposure poses no real threats to households, then environmental...

Radiation Effects among Workers In the Nuclear Power Industry

To low doses of whole-body ionizing radiation. Using a cohort of 45,468 workers, they sought to determine risks directly, and to compare them with risks estimated from higher doses. They found little consistency for solid tumors and the other individual cancers assessed do not appear to offer any meaningful evidence of a positive association 21 - In collaboration with the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a UN affiliate in Lyon, France, 16 investigators from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom mounted a study of the effects of low-dose ionizing radiation among nuclear industry workers in their three countries.

Agencies and Groups Carrying out Radiation Studies

In recognition of the importance of determining the dangers that ionizing radiation may pose for humans, the health consequences of radiation exposures have been studied almost since the first discovery of X-rays and radioactivity. The studies greatly intensified during and after World War II, with contributions from many individuals and groups throughout the world. Official advice as to radiation protection is provided internationally by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and in the United States by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP).1 Each group issues a series of reports on both specific and general radiation topics, sometimes including explicit recommendations for radiation protection. Other influential general reports are the so-called BEIR Reports, which are prepared by the Committee on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiations of the U.S. National Research Council,2 and the reviews published every several years...

Types of Effects Deterministic and Stochastic

The impacts of radiation exposure from nuclear power are primarily stochastic. Even in the accident at Chernobyl, relatively few workers received high enough acute radiation doses to cause either death within a few months or other deterministic effects (see Section 15.3.4). Much larger populations were exposed to lower doses. The predicted appearance of cancer in these populations is delayed, typically by more than 10 years after the time of exposure, and it is not possible to identify specific individual victims.

Solar Heat Collectors

Infrared Collector

Solar heat collectors capture sunlight and transform radiant energy into heat energy. Figure 4-6 is a diagram of a solar heat collector. Sunlight enters the collector through a window made of a material like glass or plastic. The window is designed to take advantage of the observation that sunlight is electromagnetic radiation with a distribution of frequencies. The window in a solar heat collector is transparent to incident solar radiation and opaque to infrared radiation.

Gases vibrations and light

However, the vibrations of many gas molecules, such as the major gases in the atmosphere oxygen and nitrogen, are invisible to the electromagnetic field. They don't shine light or absorb IR light we say they are not infrared active. Oxygen and nitrogen are not greenhouse gases because they are transparent to infrared light. These molecules are invisible because when you stretch one, it doesn't change the electric field. These are symmetric molecules made of two identical atoms whose electric fields just cancel each other out. Neither atom can hold the electrons any more tightly than the other. In general, symmetrical molecules with only two atoms are not greenhouse gases.

Needed Actions And Risks To Overcome The Pending Nooil Crisis

In Chapter 5 we show that the disposal of radioactive waste can be carried out safely. Even in the event that an accident occurs during transport of spent nuclear fuel elements from a reactor site to an underground storage facility, the exposure of the public to radiation is virtually nihil. From transportation statistics and collision tests with armored nuclear caskets it is estimated that one out of every 100,000 radioactive material transports might experience an accident in which the transport casket is penetrated via a crack or terrorist bullet hole. The risk that someone in the public is subsequently exposed to harmful radiation due to such a breach is estimated to be less than 10-4 so the overall probability of a harmful radiation exposure due to the movement of radioactive materials is less than 10-9 per transport. In the USA, which presently generates about 105 MW with 100 reactors, there was one reactor meltdown in 1979 at Three-Mile-Island (TMI). In this maximum credible...

Modern Environmental History

With the advent of atomic energy, a whole new class of environmental concerns arose related to the effects of environmental radiation. Nuclear fallout from bomb testing, the effects of accidents such as at Chernobyl, radon in homes, even the possibility that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) coming from electric power lines might cause health problems all became issues of public concern. After a decade or more of increasing awareness and activism on issues of environmental health and conservation, the first Earth Day was celebrated as a political event in the United States in 1970.

Electrical Energy Transport

The higher the voltage the more difficult it is to insulate the voltage from the surroundings and the more difficult it is to switch the power off and on. High voltage can create electric arcs. The lengths of these arcs depend on the shape of the electrodes, temperature, humidity, atmosphere circulation, and the presence of ionizing radiation. At room temperature, normal pressure and 50 humidity, a 2.5-centimeter spark will form between two sharp points at 12,000 volts. At 50,000 volts, the spark is 13 centimeters long and at 100,000 volts, it can span nearly 40 centimeters. To achieve low loss, crosscountry lines are operated at more than 300,000 volts. Local distribution lines are operated at more than 10,000 volts. Insulators used to handle these high voltages must be large and of high quality to prevent arcing to the support structure. The high voltage wires also must be prevented from coming close to any grounded conductor or, at a minimum, power will be lost. In the worst case,...

Energy States and Photons

Thus, in broad terms, each atom or nucleus can exist in a state of lowest energy, the so-called ground state, or in one or another state of higher energy, the so-called excited states. With a few exceptions, the excited states are shortlived that is, they quickly emit their excess energy and the system (atomic or nuclear) reverts to its ground state. The energy lost by the atom in a transition from one excited state to a lower one (or to the ground state) is commonly carried off by electromagnetic radiation.8 For nuclei, a typical time for a transition from an excited state to a lower state is in the neighborhood of 10 12 sec, although very much longer and somewhat shorter lifetimes are also possible. When an atom (or nucleus) in a state of initial energy Ei makes a transition to a final state of lower energy Ef, the energy carried off in electromagnetic radiation is Throughout the 19th century, light and (when recognized) other forms of electromagnetic radiation were thought to be...

The spectrum and the rainbow

Light is a form of electromagnetic radiation, and when white light passes through a prism it separates into a range of colors violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. These are the colors of a rainbow and they are made in the same way, because raindrops act as prisms. When light crosses from one medium, such as air, to another, such as water, its speed and direction change. The light bends. This is called refraction. Light striking a raindrop is refracted as it enters the drop, crossing from air to

Fusion Reactor Safety

During its lifetime, a fusion reactor presents little radiation hazard. The internal structure, particularly the vacuum containment vessel and the heat exchanger, will be subject to intense neutron bombardment. The neutrons will convert some of the elements of the structure into long-lived radioactive isotopes. Selecting construction materials that do not easily become activated can minimize radioisotope production. No material is entirely resistant to neutron activation, thus the decommissioning of a fusion reactor will require the handling and disposal of potentially hazardous radioactive isotopes. Because of the lack of uranium, plutonium, and fission products, the total radiation exposure hazard from the decommissioned fusion reactor is 10,000 to 1,000,000 less than from a decommissioned fission reactor.

Absorption of Light by Gases in the Atmosphere

When a gas molecule absorbs energy, it has no place to store that energy other than in some form of movement of the molecule itself. According to the kinetic theory of matter, molecules are constantly in motion. The molecules move faster when their temperature goes up. Gas molecules in the atmosphere can absorb energy passing through the atmosphere in the form of visible light (from the sun) or invisible electromagnetic waves (from the earth). Some molecules are able to move in more ways than others, enabling them to be better absorbers of certain kinds of light (or electromagnetic) energy.

Brief Longterm Hazards Of Radiowaste Storage In Saltbed Excavations

Concern has also been expressed about the possibility that terrorists might try to acquire radioactive material for use in a so-called 'dirty' but non-nuclear bomb. Any terrorist gang who would want to break into a radiowaste repository to steal canisters of radioactive waste for some evil purpose would have to bring a truck, winch, and special engagement equipment to retrieve any. Even if a gang was able to subdue the repository guards by guns or in a gunfight, they would mostly expose themselves to radiation and could do little harm to anyone else, should they succeed with such a heist. Damage from the explosion of a 'dirty' bomb comprises mostly mechanical blast effects. Radioactive materials are easily detected and a dirty bomb blast area is readily decontaminated with so-called 'rad-waste' solvents. Anyone not killed by the bomb's concussion but covered with radiodust can and should take a quick bath, shower, or swim to wash off radioactive particles. Any gamma radiation exposure...

Radiation From The Sun And From The Earth

Neither of these mechanisms allows heat to travel from the Sun to the Earth, because the two bodies are not in direct physical contact and there is no fluid medium separating them. The warmth we receive from the Sun arrives as radiant heat, which is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Unlike conduction and convection, radiation requires no medium through which to travel. It traverses empty space.

Source of Solar Energy

Solar energy is energy emitted by a star. Figure 4-1 shows the anatomy of a star. Energy emitted by a star is generated by nuclear fusion. The fusion process occurs in the core, or center, of the star. Energy released by the fusion process propagates away from the core by radiating from one atom to another in the radiation zone of the star. As the energy moves away from the core and passes through the radiation zone, it reaches the part of the star where energy continues its journey towards the surface of the star as heat associated with thermal gradients. This part of the star is called the convection zone. The surface of the star, called the photosphere, emits light in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The star is engulfed in a stellar atmosphere called the chromosphere. The chromosphere is a layer of hot gases surrounding the photosphere.

Political Climate and Health

And, given real political power, will act to reduce such threats. In societies where the citizens have no voice in making policy, the government might tolerate such public-health risk factors (examples include radiation exposure, industrial pollution, occupational exposures to toxic agents, and infectious diseases) if conflicting priorities exist. In many totalitarian countries, industrial production has been a higher priority than public health for governmental authorities, and contrary views coming from workers and ordinary people hold no weight.

Level See energy level

Linear-nonthreshold hypothesis (or linearity hypothesis). The hypothesis that the frequency of damage due to ionizing radiation (e.g., the rate of cancer induction) is linearly proportional to the magnitude of the dose, remaining so even at low doses. (See Section 4.3.3.)

The environmental effects of power generation

Power stations have a physical presence in the environment. Some people will consider this a visual intrusion. Most make noises, another source of irritation. There are electromagnetic fields associated with the passage of alternating currents through power cables. A power plant needs maintaining, servicing and often needs providing with fuel. That will generate traffic.

Energy through a vacuum

The ringing of the electromagnetic field in light differs from the ringing of a piano string, in that light can come in any frequency. Frequencies, of oscillators or of light waves, have units of cycles per second (hertz, Hz) and are denoted by the Greek letter v (pronounced new ). It turns out that different frequencies of light travel at the same speed in a vacuum. Within some nonvacuum medium, such as air, water, or glass, different frequencies of light might vary in their speeds a little bit, which is how a prism separates white light into its component colors. But in a vacuum, all light travels at the same speed. The speed of light in a vacuum, c, is a fundamental constant of nature. The constancy of the speed of light in a vacuum makes it easy to relate the frequency of light to its wavelength, the distance between the crests of a wave. We can figure out what the relationship is between frequency and wavelength by thinking geometrically, imagining the wavy line in Fig. 2.1 to be...

The Constraints of Gico

Environment Issues Post

Information can also be inadequate because it is limited. First of all, we are limited by the hard wiring of our sensory apparatus. For example, our visual systems respond to only a tiny range of the entire spectrum of electromagnetic radiation namely, wavelengths between approximately 400 and 700 nanometers, which we call light. Yet the continuum of electromagnetic energy extends from short cosmic rays of 4 trillionths of a centimeter, to long radio waves, traveling up to several miles. We are blind to the vast majority of this information Instead of experiencing the world as it is, people experience only about one trillionth of outside events a small world indeed (Ornstein & P. Ehrlich, 2000, p. 73).

Understanding Induction Cooking

An induction cooktop also uses an electric coil, but a different kind. This coil converts the electric current into a high-frequency electromagnetic field, to which ferrous materials react as if they are heating elements. Instead of shedding excess current, though, heat

Radioactive Waste What Is Radioactivity

Radioactivity is measured in units called curies. One curie represents the quantity of radioactive material that will undergo thirty-seven billion disintegrations per second. The biological effect of radiation on human tissue is defined using a unit called the roentgen equivalent man or rem. A rem is the dosage of ionizing radiation that will cause the same biological effect as one roentgen of x-ray or gamma radiation.

Nuclear Energy Policy

Nuclear power was first developed for military purposes. The detonation of atomic bombs in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 demonstrated the power of nuclear weapons to the world. The two bombs killed over 340,000 people either from the direct blast of the bomb or from radiation exposure (Fehner and Holl 1994, 11). The devastation not only changed the nature of international relations, it also demonstrated the necessity for government control of nuclear power. In order to promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to ensure that international control over nuclear energy was maintained, the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (UNAEC) was created in 1946.

Threats to Human Health

Melanoma appears to be associated with acute radiation exposure, such as severe sunburns, which are more likely to occur when the ozone hole is larger. Increased radiation exposure is also blamed for cataracts. This is a clouding of the eye's lens that causes blurred vision and if left untreated blindness. Some medical researchers theorize that UV radiation also depresses the human immune system, lowering the body's resistance to tumors and infectious diseases.

Interaction with the Solar Ultraviolet Radiation

When the electromagnetic radiation from the sun's photosphere enters the earth's atmosphere, the high-frequency part of the radiation lying in the extreme ultraviolet and X-ray wavelengths ( 0.2 ) impinges on the gases present in the upper atmosphere almost in the same manner as the solar wind, producing similar effects of dissociation, excitation and ionization of atoms and molecules, though there is a difference in the manner of their entry into the earth's atmosphere. While the solar wind is guided by the magnetic fields to move towards the magnetic poles only, there is no such embargo on the solar radiation coming from the sun's photosphere. But for this difference, they both interact with the upper atmosphere almost the same way.

Urban Rural Spatial Dynamics

High spatial resolution imagery in the form of aerial photographs has been available for close to a century in some parts of the world but is costly to acquire and process. In the past forty years, with the advent of remotely sensed satellite imagery, it has become possible to classify and analyze much larger portions of the earth's surface. Concurrently, a greater range of classification and accuracy has become possible as a result of technological improvements that have increased the range of observations of physical properties of the objects surfaces being imaged. These advantages result from the use of a wider range of the electromagnetic spectrum - beyond normal human vision - and the use of radar and laser systems (see for instance textbooks on remote sensing and image analysis by Jensen 2005 and 2007). At the same time that advancements have been made using a variety of methods to determine the physical properties of the earth's surface and the objects on it, there have also...

Degrading Our Surroundings

The safe long-term management (disposal or recycle) of what is known as high-level nuclear waste. The renewable energy sources wind and solar seem attractive until you acknowledge the intermittent nature of those sources. The wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine. Long transmission lines require right-of-ways that often must cut through pristine areas. Even many long-time environmentalists are against some of the planned wind farms because of either the NIMBY (Not in my backyard ) effect or because of concerns for bird migration patterns, offshore ecosystems, or just because the 100-foot-tall turbines might ruin their view. It is ironic that large wind farms now may suffer from NIMBY just like nuclear power plants. Finally, there's that lingering EMF (electromagnetic field) issue that slid off the radar screen. That will probably reemerge as soon as new or upgraded transmission lines start being proposed.

Diffusion See gaseous diffusion

A measure of the estimated biological effect of exposure to ionizing radiation, equal to the product of the quality factor for the radiation and the physical dose the common units for the dose equivalent are the sievert and the rem. (See Section 3.2.2.) Doubling dose. The dose of ionizing radiation that leads to a mutation rate in an exposed population that is twice the mutation rate in an unexposed comparable population. Effective dose equivalent (HE). An overall measure of the estimated biological effects of radiation exposure, taking into account both the type of radiation and the region of the body exposed. (See Section 3.2.3.)

Carcinogen Identification

Epidemiological studies showing that an agent causes cancer in human populations is the strongest evidence that the agent is carcinogenic, and it is usually sufficient support for strong regulatory action. However because the law prohibits deliberately exposing people to possible carcinogens, such studies require scientists to find a group of people (usually workers) who have had a documented exposure to the chemical, preferably in a pure form. If these people show a higher-than-expected rate of cancer, then the chemical responsible can be implicated as the cause. Such data are not easily found, and it can be difficult to identify the proper exposed populations. Epidemio-logical investigations were crucial in identifying many carcinogens including tobacco, asbestos, and ionizing radiation.

Measuring snowcover extent

Snow-cover fluctuations in the hemispheres are monitored by satellite. Since 1966 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has produced snow-extent charts on at least a weekly basis6,7. Until 1999 the charts were primarily derived from the manual interpretation of satellite images taken within the visible band of the electromagnetic spectrum. Passive microwave data, available since 1978, and other data are now included in the source data for the charts8,9.

Pressurized water reactor or pressurized light water reactor

A measure of the relative effectiveness of different types of ionizing radiation in producing biological damage, taken to be unity for X-rays and gamma rays. (See Section 3.2.2.) Rad. A traditional unit for the absorbed dose of ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram or 0.01 gray. (See Section 3.2.2.) Radiation. In nuclear physics and engineering, often used as shorthand for ionizing radiation. Radiation exposure. The incidence of radiation upon an object, most often a person the term is also used in a specific sense for the dose received from incident X-rays. (See Section 3.2.1.)

Fuel cycle See nuclear fuel cycle

The SI unit of absorbed dose for ionizing radiation equal to 1 joule per kilogram. (See Section 3.2.2.) Ionizing radiation. Radiation in which individual particles are energetic enough to ionize atoms of the material through which they pass, either directly for charged particles (e.g., alpha particles and beta particles) or indirectly for neutral particles (e.g., X-rays, gamma rays, and neutrons) through the production of charged particles.


The warmth you feel from the sun is due to radiation, similarly, the heat used in microwave cooking is transferred through radiation microwaves. Radiation is propagated by electromagnetic waves. As the name suggests, these waves have both electrical and magnetic properties. They do not require a substance to travel through, unlike sound waves and in a vacuum they travel at a constant speed of 300 000 000 ms 1 (3 x 108 ms ') called the speed of light. Figure 1.2 illustrates some wave characteristics. The distance between the crest of each wave is called a wavelength, denoted by the Greek letter lambda (A.) and the height between a crest and a ridge is called the amplitude and is measured in meters. Frequency is the number of complete cycles per unit time, that is from a to b to a* and is denoted by the Greek letter nu (u). Electromagnetic waves appear at all wavelengths, from very short X-rays to the long wavelengths of radio and television. This is called the electromagnetic spectrum...

Remote sensing data

Technology has provided an expanding array of alternative approaches for acquiring hydroclimatic data using instruments at a distance from the location being measured. The practice of distant measurement known as remote sensing is accomplished using instruments on satellites, aircraft, or ground-based. In most cases, the remote sensing technique involves the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with the Earth's surface or the atmosphere. Aerial photography utilizing visible wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum was the earliest use of remote sensing (Engman, 1993). A wider array of the electromagnetic spectrum is utilized currently by multispectral scanners, thermal sensors, microwave sensors, lasers, radar (radio detection and ranging), and lidar (light detection and ranging) to measure or infer the fluxes of energy, precipitation, and evapotranspiration and to infer soil moisture and runoff over an area. In addition, sodar (sound detection and ranging) uses short sound...

Radiometric Dating

Several naturally occurring, unstable isotopes of certain elements are frequently used to determine the age of climate-related phenomena. The age of geological material can be computed from the ratio of parent to daughter isotopes using the radioisotopes' half-life, the time it takes for half the original number of atoms to decay. Radioactive iso-topic decay occurs when an isotope of an element undergoes spontaneous emission of either electromagnetic radiation or particles. Two radioactive decay processes are alpha particle emission, in which a nucleus having two protons and two neutrons is emitted (reducing the atomic number by 2), and beta emission, in which a neutron is converted to a proton by electron emission (increasing the atomic number

Solar Radiation

Main Atmospheric Absorption Bands

The source of the energy injected into our atmosphere is the sun, which is continually shedding part of its mass by radiating waves of electromagnetic energy and high-energy particles into space. This constant emission represents all the energy available to the earth (except for a small amount emanating from the radioactive decay of earth minerals). The amount of energy received Solar energy originates from nuclear reactions within the sun's hot core (16 X 106K), and is transmitted to the sun's surface by radiation and hydrogen convection. Visible solar radiation (light) comes from a 'cool' ( 6000 K) outer surface layer called the photosphere. Temperatures rise again in the outer chromosphere (10,000 K) and corona (106 K), which is continually expanding into space. The outflowing hot gases (plasma) from the sun, referred to as the solar wind (with a speed of 1.5 X 106 km hr-1), interact with the earth's magnetic field and upper atmosphere. The earth intercepts both the normal...

The Convective Layer

At the top of the convective layer lies the 500km-thick surface layer of the sun, called the photosphere (photos - the Greek word for light), where the temperature is about 5760 K. It is from here that electromagnetic radiation in the form of heat and light as we know them on earth along with the very high-frequency radiation that wells up from the interior move out into space through the solar atmosphere. The photosphere constitutes the visible surface of the sun and the base of the solar atmosphere. Normally, its dazzling brightness prevents any direct eye observations. However, its surface can be seen, though for a few moments only, at the time of solar eclipse or using a coronagragh at any time.

Snow remote sensing

Falling snow absorbs and scatters electromagnetic energy in the same manner as rainfall and other forms of precipitation, and snow is detected by Snow on the ground responds to a number of regions of the electromagnetic spectrum that offer opportunities for remote sensing applications by both active and passive sensors. The SARon ESA's ERS satellites provides spatial resolution suitable for snowcover assessment in medium to small watersheds. However, SAR data have complex radiometry and geometry that complicate use of the data in high-relief areas. Nevertheless, SAR data are used for snow mapping in mountainous areas and wet snow conditions (Seidel and Martinec, 2004).

The Grid

If the cable carries a 50 Hz AC signal the above calculation would be erroneous because of the troubling (to students) quantity termed skin effect. So what is skin effect and how do we adjust the calculation to accommodate it In Sect. 2.4 you will remember that we discovered that electrical energy is stored in electric and magnetic fields. Since power is rate of change of energy, it follows that when we transmit power (move energy) through transmission lines or across space (radio waves) the agency that allows us to do this must be electric and magnetic fields. The transport mechanism takes the form of electromagnetic waves. When AC power is transported through a transmission line, the power is not carried through the interior of the wires, but in the space between the wires as an electromagnetic wave. If transmission system wires could be made perfectly conducting, it would in principle be possible to carry high electrical power along filamentary wires with infinitesimally small...

Lung Cancer

Cancer can be caused by carcinogens, which are chemical or physical substances that can cause cells to grow uncontrollably. Chemical carcinogens include chemical emissions from industry pollutants from cars, homes, and factories and tobacco smoke. Physical carcinogens include UV radiation from sunlight and ionizing radiation from X-rays and radioactive materials. A number of viruses


Scientists collect samples of air, water, soil, plants, and tissue to detect and monitor pollution. Pollutants are most often extracted from samples, then isolated by a technique called chromatography and analyzed by appropriate detection methods. Many pollutants are identified by their spectral fingerprints, unique patterns of absorbed or emitted radiation in the ultraviolet (UV), visible, or infrared (IR) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Biomonitoring and technologies including satellite observation, sidescan sonar, and bioluminescent reporter chips are also used for pollution monitoring. In the United States, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves the methods for monitoring regulated pollutants such as pesticide residues and those in air and drinking water.

Nuclear Backup

Finally, radioactivity, which is a particularly troublesome by-product of the nuclear industry, is undeniably harmful to biological cell structures, and hence to living creatures. The debate between the pro- and anti-nuclear camps is generally fixated on the level at which this harm arises. For humans a radiation dose is fatal if it exceeds 3 sieverts (Sv). For gamma radiation this implies tissue absorbing an energy level of 3 J kg, or 3 W for one second in a kilogram of tissue. To put this in perspective, humans naturally absorb 0.01 Sv from background radiation over a period of about 3 years. So to what extent would a nuclear accident of Chernobyl proportions irradiate a local population The published figures indicate that during the 50 years since the accident the radiation exposure from this event amounted to 930,000 person-Sv - i.e., on average 930,000 people could have experience a 1 Sv dose some perhaps more some perhaps less. Not enough to cause a large number of deaths but...

Dry Fallout

Amount of ionizing radiation that the sample has been exposed to over time, from surrounding sediments. The decay of radioisotopes in the surrounding matrix produces free electrons in the mineral grains, which become trapped at defects in the crystal lattice the longer the mineral has been exposed to radiation, the higher will be its trapped electron population and the greater the resulting luminescence signal. Luminescence is thus a measure of the accumulated dose of ionizing radiation (expressed in units of Grays, Gy) which is a function of sample exposure age. Age is determined by exposing subsets of the sample to known doses of radiation and measuring the resulting luminescence signal. The amount of radiation needed to produce the same luminescence signal as that from the original sample is called the equivalent dose (ED) (sometimes known as the paleodose Duller, 1996). If the amount of radiation a sample is exposed to each year (the dose rate) is known (by direct measurement of...

Wave Energy

ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES The waves we considered in the preceding chapter consist of regular, periodic disturbances that carry energy farther and farther away from its source. Exactly the same can be said of electromagnetic waves, the carriers of radiant energy. Electromagnetic waves (hereafter EM waves) differ profoundly from other kinds of waves, however, in that they need no material medium they can carry energy through a vacuum. Seismic waves obviously need a medium they are disturbances that form in and travel through the solid earth and the liquid iron of the earth's outer core. Sound waves are disturbances that form in and travel through many materials, including gases, liquids, and solids that they cannot travel through empty space is not immediately obvious to the uninitiated, but most people remember from their school days how the sound of a ringing alarm clock enclosed in an airtight jar fades to silence when the air in the jar is pumped out. EM waves, by contrast, can travel...

Glossaryof Key Terms

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) - A combination of invisible electric and magnetic fields of force. They can occur both naturally or due to human constructs. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) - A wavelike pattern of electric and magnetic energy moving together through space. Fresnel zone - The pattern of electromagnetic radiation that is created by a transmitting station from its antenna to receiving antennas the concept of Fresnel zones may be used to analyze interference by obstacles near the path of a radio beam. The first Fresnel zone must be kept largely free from obstructions to avoid interfering with the radio reception.

The C Problem

Radiation exposure from natural 14C arises from the ingestion of food, which inevitably contains 14C as part of the carbon present in all organic matter. The resulting dose to individuals is about 0.015 mSv yr (1.5 mrem yr) 12, p. 9-7 , corresponding to a global collective dose of roughly 1 x 105 person-Sv yr.6 According to the linearity hypothesis for radiation effects, this dose implies about 5000 cancer fatalities per year or roughly 50 million fatalities from natural 14C during the 10,000-year period being considered for waste repositories.

Genetic Effects

No radiation-induced genetic ( hereditary) diseases have so far been demonstrated in human populations exposed to ionizing radiation. However, ionizing radiation is a universal mutagen and experimental studies in plants and animals have clearly demonstrated that radiation can induce genetic effects consequently, humans are unlikely to be an exception in this regard. 30, p. 84 Because genetic effects are less frequent and less severe than cancer fatalities, the effects of radiation exposures are often couched in terms of cancer fatalities alone. Thus, for example, in the discussion of the Chernobyl accident in Chapter 15, the focus is on cancer rather than genetic or other possible effects such as mental retardation. These are not unimportant, but whatever the importance, it appears to be less than that of cancer.

Forcing mechanisms

Roof Ridge Flashing

The climate system generally can be described in terms of energy transport. The main energy source is the Sun, which emits electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths covering the full spectrum and peaking in the visible part (400-750 nm). On its way through the atmosphere to the Earth's surface, part of this radiation is reflected, scattered, or absorbed. The absorbed energy ( 70 percent) is ultimately re-emitted into space with much longer wavelengths. Since the incoming solar radiation covers only half the globe (day side) and peaks at low latitudes, there are permanent energy gradients on the Earth's surface, which the climate system tries to eliminate by transporting energy through the atmosphere and the ocean (thermohaline circulation).

Brief History

Radioactivity and the associated radiation exposures are sometimes thought of as environmental problems that have been created by modern science and technology.1 However, substantial amounts of radioactivity exist in nature and have existed on Earth since its original formation. All biological species evolved on Earth, for better or worse, in this radioactive environment. Radioactivity could be plausibly termed the oldest pollutant if one chooses to describe an integral part of the natural world as a pollutant. Human awareness of the existence of ionizing radiation dates only to the period around 1900. Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays in 1895, and within the next 5 years, Henri Becquerel and Marie and Pierre Curie discovered the 1 In this and succeeding chapters, we are only concerned with ionizing radiation (i.e., those radiations for which the individual particles are energetic enough to ionize atoms of the material through which they pass). The environmental effects, if any, of...


There are basically three ways in which electrical power can be generated con-trollably. First, there are solar cells (semi-conducting devices), which directly convert electromagnetic waves, usually light, into a constant voltage signal. A large array of solar panels, in which each panel is fabricated from large numbers of semi-conducting junctions, can convert solar energy into usable amounts of direct current and hence electric power. In electrical parlance this is AC DC conversion where AC is shorthand for alternating current (light is waves and is viewed as AC) and DC equates to direct current. Some small low power electrical devices already employ the technology, such as watches and calculators. The conversion of light into DC current in a semi-conducting junction is, at present, a very inefficient process. It is examined in more detail in Chap. 3 in relation to creating significant levels of power from sunlight. Electrical power can also be generated by chemical processes by...

Nuclear Energy

Radioactivity and radiation are words that many people have heard before but have little understanding of their meaning. Chapter 1 describes how a nuclear reaction is able to take place because of the radioactive properties of certain elements like uranium and plutonium. These elements spontaneously emit energy in the form of particles, or rays. In other words, the reaction happens without any stimulus. Although the term radiation is used to describe all types of energy (e.g., light energy or microwave energy), it is ionizing radiation that is of concern with nuclear fuel and weapons. Radiation emitted from radioactive elements can be dangerous for humans if they are exposed to high levels of radiation. Such exposure is known to drastically increase a person's risk for developing cancer. Some types of radiation also have adverse effects on human and animal cells. They cause mutations to occur in the structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, the basic building block of all life), which...

Wind Power

The rotating magnets in the turbine electrical generator produce a low level of electromagnetic interference that can affect television and radio signals within 2-3 km of large installations (Sagrillo 2006). Fortunately, with the widespread use of cable networks or line-of-sight microwave satellite transmission, both television and radio are unaffected by this interference.

Greenhouse gases

The layer model assumes that the atmosphere acts as a blackbody in the infrared (IR), absorbing and emitting all frequencies of IR light. In reality, gases absorb IR light selectively, and most of the gases in the atmosphere do not interact with IR light at all. The difference can be understood in terms of the effect of molecular vibration on the electromagnetic field. Because gases absorb IR selectively, there are some radiation bands that are completely absorbed (the gases are saturated), and others such as the atmospheric window, where no gases absorb. This leads to much higher greenhouse forcing per molecule from some trace gases, such as freons, SF6, or to a lesser extent methane, than from more abundant gases such as CO2. Some absorption bands fall in the middle of the IR emission spectrum of the Earth's surface, while other bands fall outside this spectrum and are therefore irrelevant to the heat budget.

Waste Types

Radioactive wastes emit particles or electromagnetic radiation (e.g., alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, and x rays). Radioactive wastes can be high level, transuranic, or low level. High-level radioactive wastes are from spent or reprocessed nuclear reactor fuel. Transuranic wastes are from isotopes above uranium in the periodic table. They are generally low in radioactivity, but have long half-lives. Low-level wastes have little radioactivity and can often be handled with little or no shielding. Radiation can damage living cells and cause cancer. Although recycling and incineration may reduce waste amounts, the primary method for handling radioactive wastes is long-term storage.

Photoelectric Effect

Electrons can move in metals and interact with light. Light is electromagnetic radiation. It was known in the late 1800's that electrons could be ejected from a metal exposed to light, but the effect depended on the frequency of the light. The effect was called the photoelectric effect. Albert Einstein used the concept of a quantum of energy to explain the photoelectric effect in 1905, the same year he published his special theory of relativity. As a historical note, Einstein received the Nobel Prize for his work on the photoelectric effect, not for his theory of relativity.


The electromagnetic spectrum encompasses all forms of electromagnetic radiation from the most energetic cosmic and gamma rays to the least energetic radio waves. The part of the spectrum that is particularly useful in identifying and measuring pollutants consists of radiation that interacts with the atoms and molecules that make up life on Earth. This includes radiation in the UV, visible, and IR regions. DIAGRAM OF THE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM DIAGRAM OF THE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM

Keeping France Safe

The Nuclear Safety Authority (Autorite de Surete Nucleaire, or ASN) is the regulatory authority within France responsible for nuclear safety and radiological protection. It reports to the Minister of Environment, Industry and Health. The General Directorate for Nuclear Safety and Radiological Protection (DGSNR) was established in 2002 by merging the Directorate for Nuclear Installation Safety (DSIN) with the Office for Protection against Ionizing Radiation (OPRI) to integrate the regulatory functions and to draft and implement government policy. Research is undertaken by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (ISRN), also set up in 2002 from two older bodies. ISRN is the main technical support body for ASN and also advises DGSNR. The Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, or CEA) was set up in 1945 and is the public R&D corporation responsible for all aspects of nuclear research and development.

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