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Encyclopedia > Nuclear fallout

Fallout is the residual radiation hazard from a nuclear explosion, so named because it "falls out" of the atmosphere into which it is spread during the explosion. It commonly refers to the radioactive dust created when a nuclear weapon explodes. This radioactive dust, consisting of hot particles, is a kind of radioactive contamination. It can lead to contamination of the food chain. Fallout can also refer to the dust or debris that results from the nuclear explosion. It has been suggested that Nuclear explosive be merged into this article or section. ... Radioactive decay is the set of various processes by which unstable atomic nuclei (nuclides) emit subatomic particles. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter. ... A hot particle is a small, highly radioactive object, with significant content of radionuclides. ... The radiation warning symbol (trefoil). ... Food chains, food webs and/or food networks describe the feeding relationships between species in a biotic community. ...

Weapons of mass destruction
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Radiological weapons For the album, see Weapons of Mass Destruction (album). ... Image File history File links WMD_world_map. ... For the use of biological agents by terrorists, see bioterrorism. ... Chemical warfare is warfare (and associated military operations) using the toxic properties of chemical substances to kill, injure or incapacitate an enemy. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter. ... A radiological weapon (or radiological dispersion device, RDD) is any weapon that is designed to spread radioactive contamination, either to kill, or to deny the use of an area (a modern version of salting the earth) and consists of a device (such as a nuclear or conventional explosive) which spreads...

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The Peoples Republic of China is estimated to have an arsenal of about 400 nuclear weapons stockpiled as of 1999, although this number is questionable because the Chinese government releases little information regarding its nuclear weapons other than stating that China possesses the smallest nuclear arsenal amongst the five... The Republic of China on Taiwan denies having chemical or nuclear weapons. ... The United Kingdom is one of the five official nuclear weapon states under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has an independent nuclear deterrent. ...

Source

A nuclear explosion vaporizes any material within the fireball, including the ground if it is nearby, and this is combined with residual ionizing radiation to produce fallout. Look up fireball in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Radiation hazard symbol. ...


Fission byproducts

Fission products are intermediate weight isotopes which are formed when a heavy uranium or plutonium nucleus is split in a fission reaction. There are over 300 different fission products that may result from a fission reaction. Many of these are radioactive with widely differing half-lives. Some are very short (fractions of a second) while a few are long enough that the materials can be a hazard for months or years. Their principal mode of decay is by the emission of beta radiation, usually accompanied with gamma radiation. Approximately 60 g of fission products are formed per kiloton of yield. The estimated activity of this quantity of fission products 1 minute after detonation is 1.1 ZBq, equal to that of 30 Gg of radium, in equilibrium with its decay products. The mixture of fission product radioisotopes is very complex. For the generation of electrical power by fission, see Nuclear power plant An induced nuclear fission event. ... Isotopes are any of the several different forms of an element each having different atomic mass. ... General Name, Symbol, Number uranium, U, 92 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery gray metallic; corrodes to a spalling black oxide coat in air Atomic mass 238. ... General Name, Symbol, Number plutonium, Pu, 94 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery white Atomic mass (244) g·mol−1 Electron configuration [Rn] 5f6 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 24, 8, 2 Physical properties Phase solid Density (near r. ... A semi-accurate depiction of the helium atom. ... Half-Life For a quantity subject to exponential decay, the half-life is the time required for the quantity to fall to half of its initial value. ... Beta particles are high-energy electrons emitted by certain types of radioactive nuclei such as potassium-40. ... This article is about electromagnetic radiation. ... BIC pen cap, about 1 gram. ... A megaton or megatonne is a unit of mass equal to 1,000,000 metric tons, i. ... The becquerel (symbol Bq) is the SI derived unit of radioactivity, defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second. ... The gigagram is an SI unit of mass, with symbol Gg. ... General Name, Symbol, Number radium, Ra, 88 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 7, s Appearance silvery white metallic Atomic mass (226) g·mol−1 Electron configuration [Rn] 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 8, 2 Physical properties Phase solid Density (near r. ... In nuclear physics, a decay product, also known as a daughter product, is a nuclide resulting from the radioactive decay of a parent or precursor nuclide. ... A radionuclide is an atom with an unstable nucleus. ...

Unfissioned material

Nuclear weapons are relatively inefficient in their use of fissionable material; usually only 2%-40% of the fissionable material undergoes fission and much of the uranium and plutonium is dispersed by the explosion without undergoing fission. Such unfissioned nuclear material decays by the emission of alpha particles and is of relatively minor importance. An alpha particle is deflected by a magnetic field Alpha particles (named after the first letter in the Greek alphabet, α) are a highly ionizing form of particle radiation which have low penetration. ...


Neutron activation

Main article: Neutron activation

If atomic nuclei capture neutrons when exposed to a flux of neutron radiation, they will, as a rule, become radioactive and then decay by emission of beta and gamma radiation over an extended period of time. Neutrons emitted as part of the initial nuclear radiation will cause activation of the weapon residues. In addition, atoms of environmental material (such as soil, air, and water) may be activated, depending on their composition and distance from the burst. For example, a small area around ground zero may become hazardous as a result of exposure of the minerals in the soil to initial neutron radiation. This is principally a result of neutron capture by sodium, manganese, aluminum, and silicon in the soil. This is a relatively negligible hazard because of the limited area involved. Neutron activation is the process by which neutron radiation induces radioactivity in materials. ... The process of neutron capture can proceed in two ways - as a rapid process (an r-process) or a slow process (an s-process). ... Neutron radiation consists of free neutrons. ... Ground zero is the exact location on the ground where any explosion occurs. ... General Name, Symbol, Number sodium, Na, 11 Chemical series alkali metals Group, Period, Block 1, 3, s Appearance silvery white Atomic mass 22. ... General Name, Symbol, Number manganese, Mn, 25 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 7, 4, d Appearance silvery metallic Atomic mass 54. ... Aluminum is a soft and lightweight metal with a dull silvery appearance, due to a thin layer of oxidation that forms quickly when it is exposed to air. ... General Name, Symbol, Number silicon, Si, 14 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 14, 3, p Appearance as coarse powder, dark gray with bluish tinge Atomic mass 28. ...


Actinide

Higher actinides are formed during a nuclear detonation. The neutron flux is very high, so too little time exists between each neutron capture for beta decay. Hence a different group of isotopes is formed to those which are formed in a normal low flux power reactor (S-process). This is an example of the R-process which is also seen in exploding stars. These higher actinides are known as minor actinides in the context of used power reactor fuel. Some of the higher actinides were first found in the fallout from bomb tests, for instance einsteinium (element 99) was first found in the fallout from a hydrogen bomb test. The actinide series encompasses the 15 chemical elements that lie between actinium and lawrencium on the periodic table, with atomic numbers 89 - 103[1]. The actinide series is named after actinium. ... In nuclear physics, beta decay (sometimes called neutron decay) is a type of radioactive decay in which a beta particle (an electron or a positron) is emitted. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The R process (R for rapid) is a neutron capture process for radioactive elements which occurs in high neutron density, high temperature conditions. ... The minor actinides are the actinide elements in spent fuel other than uranium and plutonium, these are termed major actinides. ... General Name, Symbol, Number einsteinium, Es, 99 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance unknown, probably silvery white or metallic gray Atomic mass (252) g·mol−1 Electron configuration [Rn] 5f11 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 29, 8, 2 Physical properties Phase solid... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 lifted nuclear fallout some 18 km (60,000 feet) above the epicenter. ...


Types

Atmospheric nuclear weapon tests almost doubled the concentration of radioactive 14C in the Northern Hemisphere, before levels slowly declined following the Partial Test Ban Treaty.
Atmospheric nuclear weapon tests almost doubled the concentration of radioactive 14C in the Northern Hemisphere, before levels slowly declined following the Partial Test Ban Treaty.

There are many types of fallout, ranging from the global type to the more area-restricted types. Image File history File links Radiocarbon_bomb_spike. ... Image File history File links Radiocarbon_bomb_spike. ... Carbon-14 is the radioactive isotope of carbon discovered February 27, 1940, by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben. ... The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planets surface (or celestial sphere) that is north of the equator (the word hemisphere literally means half ball). On the Earth, the Northern Hemisphere contains most of the land and about 88-90% of the human population. ... The Treaty Banning poop, in Outer Space, and Under Water, often abbreviated as the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), or Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (NTBT), although the former also refers to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), is a treaty intended to obtain an agreement...


Worldwide

After an air burst the fission products, unfissioned nuclear material, and weapon residues which have been vaporized by the heat of the fireball will condense into a fine suspension of very small particles 10 nm to 20 µm in diameter. These particles may be quickly drawn up into the stratosphere, particularly if the explosive yield exceeds 10 kt. They will then be dispersed by atmospheric winds and will gradually settle to the earth's surface after weeks, months, and even years as worldwide fallout. An air burst occurs whenever an explosive device such as an anti-personnel artillery shell or a nuclear weapon is detonated in the air instead of on contact with the ground or target or a delayed armor piercing explosion. ... A metre (American spelling: meter; symbol: m) is a unit of length and the current base unit of length in the International System of Units (SI). ... A micrometre (American spelling: micrometer, symbol µm) is an SI unit of length equal to one millionth of a metre, or about a tenth of the size of a droplet of mist or fog. ... Atmosphere diagram showing stratosphere. ... A megaton or megatonne is a unit of mass equal to 1,000,000 metric tons, i. ...


The radiobiological hazard of worldwide fallout is essentially a long-term one because of the potential accumulation of long-lived radioisotopes (such as strontium-90 and caesium-137), in the body as a result of ingestion of foods incorporating these radioactive materials. This hazard is much less serious than those which are associated with local fallout, which is of much greater immediate operational concern. A radionuclide is an atom with an unstable nucleus. ... General Name, Symbol, Number strontium, Sr, 38 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 5, s Appearance silvery white metallic Atomic mass 87. ... General Name, Symbol, Number caesium, Cs, 55 Chemical series alkali metals Group, Period, Block 1, 6, s Appearance silvery gold Atomic mass 132. ...


Local

The roughly 280 mile long fallout plume from 15 Mt shot Castle Bravo, ca. 1954
The roughly 280 mile long fallout plume from 15 Mt shot Castle Bravo, ca. 1954

In a land or water surface burst, large amounts of earth or water will be vaporized by the heat of the fireball and drawn up into the radioactive cloud. This material will become radioactive when it condenses, with fission products and other radiocontaminants that have become neutron-activated. Many of the isotopes in the table below will decay into the isotopes that many people are more familar with. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (928x422, 23 KB) Image of nuclear fallout dispersal from the Castle Bravo nuclear test, 28 Feb 1954. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (928x422, 23 KB) Image of nuclear fallout dispersal from the Castle Bravo nuclear test, 28 Feb 1954. ... A black and white photograph of the Castle Bravo mushroom cloud. ... Vapor (US English) or vapour (British English) is the gaseous state of matter. ... Fallout is the residual radiation hazard from a nuclear explosion and is named from the fact that it falls out of the atmosphere in to which it is spread during the explosion. ...

Table (according to T. Imanaka et. al) of the relative abilities of isotopes to form solids
Isotope Refractory index
91Sr 0.2
92Sr 1.0
95Zr 1.0
99Mo 1.0
106Ru 0.0
131Sb 0.1
132Te 0.0
134Te 0.0
137Cs 0.0
140Ba 0.3
141La 0.7
144Ce 1.0

There will be large amounts of particles of less than 100 nm to several millimeters in diameter generated in a surface burst in addition to the very fine particles which contribute to worldwide fallout. The larger particles spill out of the stem and cascade down the outside of the fireball in a downdraft even while the cloud rises, so fallout begins to arrive near ground zero within an hour, and more than half the total bomb debris is deposited on the ground within about 24 hours as local fallout. A metre (American spelling: meter; symbol: m) is a unit of length and the current base unit of length in the International System of Units (SI). ...


The chemical properties of the different elements in the fallout will control the rate at which they are deposited on the ground. The less volatile elements will deposit first.

Per capita thyroid doses in the continental United States resulting from all exposure routes from all atmospheric nuclear tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site from 1951-1962.

Severe local fallout contamination can extend far beyond the blast and thermal effects, particularly in the case of high yield surface detonations. The ground track of fallout from an explosion depends on the weather situation from the time of detonation onwards. In stronger winds, fallout travels faster but takes the same time to descend, so although it covers a larger path, it is more spread out or diluted. So the width of the fallout pattern for any given dose rate is reduced where the downwind distance is increased by higher winds. The total amount of activity deposited up to any given time is the same irrespective of the wind pattern, so the overall casualty figures from fallout will generally be independent of the winds. But thunderstorms can bring down activity as rain more rapidly than dry fallout, particularly if the mushroom cloud is low enough to be below, or mixed with, the thunderstorm. Image File history File links US_fallout_exposure. ... Image File history File links US_fallout_exposure. ... Preparation for an underground nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site in the 1980s. ... The Nevada Test Site is a United States Department of Energy reservation located in Nye County, Nevada, about 65 miles (105 km) northwest of the City of Las Vegas, near . ... The atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945 A mushroom cloud is a distinctive mushroom-shaped cloud of smoke, flame, or debris resulting from a very large explosion. ...


Whenever individuals remain in a radiologically contaminated area, such contamination will lead to an immediate external radiation exposure as well as a possible later internal hazard from inhalation and ingestion of radiocontaminants, such as the rather short-lived iodine-131, which is accumulated in the thyroid. The radiation warning symbol (trefoil). ... Iodine-131, also called radioiodine, is a radioisotope of iodine. ...


Factors affecting fallout

Nevada nuclear test total fallout outdoor gamma doses, 1950-57. The fallout is to the north and east because testing was only allowed when the wind was blowing in those directions.
Nevada nuclear test total fallout outdoor gamma doses, 1950-57. The fallout is to the north and east because testing was only allowed when the wind was blowing in those directions.

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (912x624, 57 KB) Summary 1950-57 fallout outdoor gamma doses offsite from Nevada nuclear tests. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (912x624, 57 KB) Summary 1950-57 fallout outdoor gamma doses offsite from Nevada nuclear tests. ...

Location

A formerly secret RAND Corporation simulation of the Castle Bravo fallout indicating that high levels on Rongelap may have been caused by a hotspot. Hotspots downwind are typical of bursts on coral in humid atmospheres and also occurred in the 1954 Yankee and Nectar water surface bursts, and the 1956 coral surface bursts Zuni and Tewa.
A formerly secret RAND Corporation simulation of the Castle Bravo fallout indicating that high levels on Rongelap may have been caused by a hotspot. Hotspots downwind are typical of bursts on coral in humid atmospheres and also occurred in the 1954 Yankee and Nectar water surface bursts, and the 1956 coral surface bursts Zuni and Tewa.

There are two main considerations for the location of an explosion: height and surface composition. A nuclear weapon detonated in the air, called an air burst, will produce less fallout than a comparable explosion near the ground. Less particulate matter will be contaminated by an air burst. Detonations at the surface (surface bursts) will tend to produce more fallout material. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (855x530, 61 KB) Summary Rand Corporation land gamma dose rate fallout pattern for 14. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (855x530, 61 KB) Summary Rand Corporation land gamma dose rate fallout pattern for 14. ... Alternate meanings: See RAND (disambiguation) The RAND Corporation is an American think tank first formed to offer research and analysis to the U.S. military. ... A black and white photograph of the Castle Bravo mushroom cloud. ... Rongelap Atoll is an island-atoll located in Micronesia. ... An air burst occurs whenever an explosive device such as an anti-personnel artillery shell or a nuclear weapon is detonated in the air instead of on contact with the ground or target or a delayed armor piercing explosion. ...


In case of water surface bursts, the particles tend to be rather lighter and smaller, producing less local fallout but extending over a greater area. The particles contain mostly sea salts with some water; these can have a cloud seeding effect causing local rainout and areas of high local fallout. Fallout from a seawater burst is difficult to remove once it has soaked into porous surfaces because the fission products are present as metallic ions which become chemically bonded to many surfaces. Water and detergent is effective on removing less than about 50% of this activity from concrete or steel, requires sandblasting or acidic treatment. After the Crossroads underwater test, it was found that wet fallout needs to be immediately removed from ships by continuous water washdown (such as from the fire sprinkler system on the decks). Cessna 210 with cloud seeding equipment Cloud seeding, a form of weather modification, is the attempt to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds, by dispersing substances into the air that serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei. ... Rainout is fallout by rain (as the name suggests). ... Annual mean sea surface temperature for the World Ocean. ...


For subsurface bursts, there is an additional phenomenon present called "base surge". The base surge is a cloud that rolls outward from the bottom of the subsiding column, which is cause by an excessive density of dust or water droplets in the air. For underwater bursts, the visible surge is, in effect, a cloud of liquid (usually water) droplets with the property of flowing almost as if it were a homogeneous fluid. After the water evaporates, an invisible base surge of small radioactive particles may persist.


For subsurface land bursts, the surge is made up of small solid particles, but it still behaves like a fluid. A soil earth medium favors base surge formation in an underground burst. Although the base surge typically contains only about 10% of the total bomb debris in a subsurface burst, it can create larger radiation doses than fallout near the detonation, because it arrives sooner than fallout, before much radioactive decay has occurred. A fluid is defined as a substance that continually deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress regardless of the magnitude of the applied stress. ...


Meteorological

Comparison of fallout gamma dose and dose rate contours for a 1 Mt fission land surface burst, based on DELFIC calculations. Because of radioactive decay, the dose rate contours contract after fallout has arrived, but dose contours continue to grow

Meteorological conditions will greatly influence fallout, particularly local fallout. Atmospheric winds are able to bring fallout over large areas. For example, as a result of a Castle Bravo surface burst of a 15 Mt thermonuclear device at Bikini Atoll on March 1, 1954, a roughly cigar-shaped area of the Pacific extending over 500 km downwind and varying in width to a maximum of 100 km was severely contaminated. There are three very different versions of the fallout pattern from this test, because the fallout was only measured on a small number of widely spaced Pacific Atolls. The two alternative versions both ascribe the high radiation levels at north Rongelap to a downwind hotspot caused by the large amount of radioactivity carried on fallout particles of about 50-100 micrometres size [1]. Image File history File links Fallout_G&D77. ... Image File history File links Fallout_G&D77. ... Satellite image of Hurricane Hugo with a polar low visible at the top of the image. ... A black and white photograph of the Castle Bravo mushroom cloud. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... March 1 is the 60th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (61st in leap years). ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other meanings of Pacific, see Pacific (disambiguation). ...


After Bravo, it was discovered that fallout landing on the ocean disperses in the top water layer (above the thermocline at 100 m depth), and the land equivalent dose rate can be calculated by multiplying the ocean dose rate at two days after burst by a factor of about 530. In other 1954 tests, including Yankee and Nectar, hotspots were mapped out by ships with submersible probes, and similar hotspots occurred in 1956 tests such as Zuni and Tewa [2] However, the major U.S. 'DELFIC' (Defence Land Fallout Interpretive Code) computer calculations use the natural size distributions of particles in soil instead of the afterwind sweep-up spectrum, and this results in more straightforward fallout patterns lacking the downwind hotspot.


Snow and rain, especially if they come from considerable heights, will accelerate local fallout. Under special meteorological conditions, such as a local rain shower that originates above the radio-active cloud, limited areas of heavy contamination just downwind of a nuclear blast may be formed.


Effects

Pollution
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Air pollution
Acid rainAir Quality IndexAtmospheric dispersion modelingChlorofluorocarbonGlobal dimmingGlobal warming • Haze • Indoor air qualityOzone depletionParticulateSmogRoadway air dispersion
Water pollution
EutrophicationHypoxiaMarine pollutionOcean acidificationOil spillShip pollutionSurface runoffThermal pollutionWastewaterWaterborne diseasesWater qualityWater stagnation
Soil contamination
Bioremediation • Herbicide • Pesticide
Radioactive contamination
Actinides in the environmentEnvironmental radioactivityNuclear falloutRadiation poisoning
Other types of pollution
Light pollutionNoise pollutionRadio spectrum pollutionVisual pollution
Government Acts
Clean Air ActClean Water ActKyoto ProtocolWater Pollution Control Act
Major organizations
DEFRAEnvironmental Protection AgencyGlobal Atmosphere WatchGreenpeaceNational Ambient Air Quality Standards
Related topics
Natural environment

A wide range of biological changes may follow the irradiation of animals. These vary from rapid death following high doses of penetrating whole-body radiation, to essentially normal lives for a variable period of time until the development of delayed radiation effects, in a portion of the exposed population, following low dose exposures. Pollution is the release of environmental contaminants. ... Before flue gas desulfurization was installed, the emissions from this power plant in New Mexico contained excessive amounts of sulfur dioxide. ... Acid rain (or more accurately acid precipitation)[1] occurs when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are emitted into the atmosphere, undergo chemical transformations and are absorbed by water droplets in clouds. ... An air quality measurement station in Edinburgh, Scotland The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a standardized indicator of the air quality in a given location. ... Atmospheric dispersion modeling is performed with computer programs that use mathematical equations and algorithms to simulate how pollutants in the ambient atmosphere disperse in the atmosphere. ... The haloalkane (also known as halogenoalkanes) are a group of chemical compounds, consisting of alkanes, such as methane or ethane, with one or more halogens linked, such as chlorine or fluorine, making them a type of organic halide. ... NASA photograph showing aircraft contrails and natural clouds. ... Global mean surface temperatures 1856 to 2005. ... Severe haze affecting Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August 2005 Moon over red and blue haze For other uses, see Haze (disambiguation). ... Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) deals with the content of interior air that could affect health and comfort of building occupants. ... Bold textItalic textRecent Developement 35 million dollar prize is now being offerred by a private agency to anybody who can propose a successful solution to the Ozone depletion problem Global monthly average total ozone amount The term ozone depletion is used to describe two distinct but related observations: a slow... Particulates, alternatively referred to as particulate matter (PM), aerosols or fine particles, are tiny particles of solid (a smoke) or liquid (an aerosol) suspended in a gas. ... Victorian London was notorious for its thick smogs, or pea-soupers, a fact that is often recreated to add an air of mystery to a period costume drama. ... Roadway air dispersion is applied to highway segments Roadway air dispersion modeling is the study of air pollutant transport from a roadway or other linear emitter. ... Water pollution Water pollution is a large set of adverse effects upon water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and groundwater caused by human activities. ... Eutrophication is apparent as increased turbidity in the northern part of the Caspian Sea, imaged from orbit. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Hypoxia (medical). ... Pumping of highly toxic (dark black) sludge, much seeps back into the ocean in the form of particles. ... Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earths oceans, caused by their uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. ... Volunteers cleaning up the aftermath of the Prestige oil spill An oil spill(also called a oil slick) is the unintentional release of oil (generally, petroleum) into the natural environment as a result of human activity. ... Ships can pollute the waterways and oceans in many ways. ... Runoff flowing into a stormwater drain Surface runoff is water, from rain, snowmelt, or other sources, that flows over the land surface, and is a major component of the water cycle[1][2]. Runoff that occurs on surfaces before reaching a channel is also called overland flow. ... Thermal pollution is a temperature change in natural water bodies caused by human influence. ... Wastewater is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influence. ... Waterborne diseases, according to the World Health Organization, are those which generally arise from the contamination of water by feces or urine, infected by pathogenic viruses or bacteria, and which are directly transmitted when unsafe water is drunk or used in the preparation of food. ... Water quality is the chemical and physical characterization of water. ... Water stagnation occurs when water stops flowing. ... Excavation of leaking underground storage tank causing soil contamination Soil contamination is the presence of man-made chemicals or other alteration of the natural soil environment. ... Bioremediation can be defined as any process that uses microorganisms, fungi, green plants or their enzymes to return the environment altered by contaminants to its original condition. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A cropduster spreading pesticide. ... The radiation warning symbol (trefoil). ... This article about actinides in the environment is about the sources, environmental behaviour and effects of actinides in the environment. ... The environmental radioactivity page is devoted to the subject of radioactive materials in man and his environment. ... Radiation Hazard symbol. ... This time exposure photo of New York City shows sky glow, one form of light pollution. ... Noise pollution, usually called environmental noise in technical venues, is displeasing human or machine created sound that disrupts the environment. ... Radio spectrum pollution is the straying of waves in the radio and electromagnetic spectrums outside their allocations that cause problems for some activities. ... Visual pollution is the term given to unattractive visual elements of a vista, a landscape, or any other thing that a person might want to look at. ... A Clean Air Act describes one of a number of pieces of legislation relating to the reduction of smog and atmospheric pollution in general. ... The Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C.A. § 1251 et seq. ... Kyoto Protocol Opened for signature December 11, 1997 in Kyoto, Japan Entered into force February 16, 2005. ... This act gave authority to Surgeon General to make programs to reduce or eliminate water pollution in rivers, underground rivers, and other waterways. ... This is a list of environmental organizations, organizations that preserve, analyze or monitor the environment in different ways. ... The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities. ... EPA redirects here. ... Global Atmosphere Watchs logo The Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) is a worldwide system established by the World Meteorological Organization – a United Nations agency – to monitor trends in the Earths atmosphere. ... This article is becoming very long. ... The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that apply for outdoor air throughout the country. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... A biological process is a process of a living organism. ...


The unit of actual exposure is the Roentgen which is defined in ionisations per unit volume of air, and all ionisation based instruments (including geiger counters and ionisation chambers) measure exposure. However, effects depend on the energy per unit mass, not the exposure measured in air. A deposit of 1 joule per kilogram has the unit of 1 gray. For 1 MeV energy gamma rays, an exposure of 1 roentgen in air will produce a dose of about 0.01 gray (1 centigray, cGy) in water or surface tissue. Because of shielding by the tissue surrounding the bones, the bone marrow will only receive about 0.67 cGy when the air exposure is 1 roentgen and the surface skin dose is 1 cGy. Some of the lower values reported for the amount of radiation which would kill 50% of personnel (the 'LD50') refer to bone marrow dose, which is only 67% of the air dose. Modern geiger counter. ... The gray (symbol: Gy) is the SI unit of absorbed dose. ...


Short term

Further information: LD50

When comparing the effects of various types or circumstances, the dose which is lethal to 50% of a given population is a common parameter. The term is usually defined for a specific time, which is generally limited to studies of acute lethality. The common time periods used are 30 days or less for most small laboratory animals and to 60 days for large animals and humans. The LD50 figure assumes that the individuals did not receive other injuries or medical treatment. An LD50 test being administered In toxicology, the LD50 or colloquially semilethal dose of a particular substance is a measure of how much constitutes a lethal dose. ...


In the 1950s, the LD50 for gamma rays was set at 3.5 Gy, while under more dire conditions of war (a bad diet, little medical care, poor nursing) the LD50 was 2.5 Gy (250 rad). There have been few documented cases of survival beyond 6 Gy. One person at Chernobyl survived a dose of more than 10 Gy, but many of the persons exposed there were not uniformly exposed over their entire body. If a person is exposed in a non-homogeneous manner then a given dose (averaged over the entire body) is less likely to be of a lethal dose. For instance if a person gets a hand/low arm dose of 100 Gy which gives them an overall dose of 4 Gy then they are more likely to survive than a person who gets a 4 Gy dose uniformly over their entire body. A hand dose of 10 Gy or more will likely result in loss of the hand; a British industrial radiographer who got a lifetime hand dose of 100 Gy lost his hand because of radiation dermatitis. Most people become ill after an exposure to 1 Gy or more. The fetuses of pregnant women are often more vulnerable than the host body and may miscarry, especially in the first trimester. Though the human biology resists mutation from large radiation exposure; grossly mutated fetuses usually miscarry, and this often causes gene-faults. Chernobyl area. ... Radiography is the creation of radiographs, photographs made by exposing a photographic film or other image receptor to X-rays. ... Dermatitis is a blanket term literally meaning inflammation of the skin. It is usually used to refer to eczema, which is also known as Dermatitis eczema. ... Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the natural or accidental termination of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or the fetus is incapable of surviving, generally defined at a gestation of prior to 20 weeks. ... The human gestation period of approximately 40 weeks between the time of the last menstrual cycle and delivery is traditionally divided into three periods of three months, or trimesters. ... In biology, mutations are changes to the base pair sequence of genetic material (either DNA or RNA). ...


One hour after a surface burst, the radiation from fallout in the crater region is 30 grays per hour (Gy/h). Civilian dose rates in peacetime range from 30 to 100 µGy per year.


Fallout radiation decays exponentially relatively quickly with time. Most areas become fairly safe for travel and decontamination after three to five weeks. A quantity is said to be subject to exponential decay if it decreases at a rate proportional to its value. ...


The most dangerous known emissions from fallout are gamma rays, which travel in straight lines, like ordinary light. This article is about electromagnetic radiation. ... Prism splitting light Light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that is visible to the eye (visible light) or, in a technical or scientific context, electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength[1]. The elementary particle that defines light is the photon. ...


For yields of up to 10 kt, prompt radiation is the dominant producer of casualties on the battlefield. Humans receiving an acute incapacitating dose (30 Gy) will have their performance degraded almost immediately and become ineffective within several hours. However, they will not die until 5 to 6 days after exposure assuming they do not receive any other injuries.


Individuals receiving less than a total of 1.5 Gy will not be incapacitated. People receiving doses greater than 1.5 Gy will become disabled; some will eventually die.


A dose of 5.3 Gy to 8.3 Gy is considered lethal but not immediately incapacitating. Personnel exposed to this amount of radiation will have their performance degraded within 2 to 3 hours, depending on how physically demanding the tasks they must perform are, and will remain in this disabled state at least 2 days. However, at that point they will experience a recovery period and be effective at performing non-demanding tasks for about 6 days, after which they will relapse for about 4 weeks. At this time they will begin exhibiting symptoms of radiation poisoning of sufficient severity to render them totally ineffective. Death follows at approximately 6 weeks after exposure, although results may vary. Radiation Hazard symbol. ...


Long term

Late or delayed effects of radiation occur following a wide range of doses and dose rates. Delayed effects may appear months to years after irradiation and include a wide variety of effects involving almost all tissues or organs. Some of the possible delayed consequences of radiation injury are life shortening, carcinogenesis, cataract formation, chronic radiodermatitis, decreased fertility, and genetic mutations. Irradiation is the process by which an item is exposed to radiation. ... Cancers are caused by a series of mutations. ... A cataract is an opacity that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope. ... Radiodermatitis is a skin disease associated with prolonged exposure to radiation. ... This article is about mutation in biology, for other meanings see: mutation (disambiguation). ...


Tactical military considerations

Comparison of predicted fallout "hotline" with test results in the 3.53 Mt 15% fission Zuni test at Bikini in 1956. The predictions were made under simulated tactical nuclear war conditions aboard ship by Edward A. Schuert.
Comparison of predicted fallout "hotline" with test results in the 3.53 Mt 15% fission Zuni test at Bikini in 1956. The predictions were made under simulated tactical nuclear war conditions aboard ship by Edward A. Schuert.

Blast injuries and thermal burns from the use of nuclear weapons for military action in many cases will far outnumber radiation injuries. However, radiation effects are considerably more complex and varied than are blast or thermal effects and are subject to considerable misunderstanding. Image File history File links Zuni. ... Image File history File links Zuni. ... Blast injuries are inflicted on individuals subjected to the effects of the detonation of high-order explosives, explosives that produce a supersonic over-pressurization shock wave, as well as low order explosives which produce a subsonic explosion with no over-pressurization wave. ... This article describes a type of injury. ...


The closer to ground an atomic bomb is detonated, the more dust and debris is thrown into the air, resulting in greater amounts of local fallout. From a tactical standpoint, this has the disadvantage of hindering any occupation/invading efforts until the fallout clears, but more directly, the impact with the ground severely limits the destructive force of the bomb. For these reasons, ground bursts are not usually considered tactically advantageous, with the exception of hardened underground targets such as missile silos or command centers. "Salting" enemy territory with a fallout-heavy atomic burst could be used to deny enemy access to a contaminated area, but such use is generally not considered an ethical military action by critics.[citation needed] A missile silo is a underground vertical cylindrical container for the storage and launching of ICBMs. ... A central place for carrying out orders and for supervising tasks, also known as a headquarters, or HQ. Categories: Military stubs ... Ethics (from the Ancient Greek εθικος (ethikos), meaning arising from habit; also Morality), a major branch of philosophy, is the study of value, or morals and morality. ...


Fallout protection

See also: Fallout Protection and Fallout shelter

During the Cold War, the governments of the U.S. and USSR attempted to educate their citizens about surviving a nuclear attack. In the U.S., this effort became known as Civil Defense. The governments provided effective procedures and advice on how the populace could minimize the short-term exposure to fallout. Currently in the U.S., the popular culture attitude toward fallout protection is that short-term survival in a global thermonuclear war would be futile, and fallout shelters are no longer maintained even though fallout shelters could almost entirely eliminate the fallout-related casualties of a Chernobyl-type accident.(citation needed) Cover of Fallout Protection, 1961 Fallout Protection - What To Know And Do About Nuclear Attack, was an official government booklet released in December of 1961 by the United States Department of Defense and The Office of Civil Defense. ... A sign pointing to an old fallout shelter in New York City. ... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... The old United States civil defense logo. ...


Nuclear reactor accident

Fallout can also refer to nuclear accidents, although a nuclear reactor does not explode like a nuclear weapon. The isotopic signature of bomb fallout is very different from the fallout from a serious power reactor accident (such as Chernobyl). The key differences are in volatility and half-life. Pathways from airborne radioactive contamination to man This is a list of notable accidents involving nuclear material. ... Core of a small nuclear reactor used for research. ... Isotopes are any of the several different forms of an element each having different atomic mass. ... Chernobyl reactor 4 after the disaster, showing the extensive damage to the main reactor hall (image center) and turbine building (image lower left) The early stages of construction of the sarcophagus. ... The ability of a liquid to evaporate quickly and at relatively low temperatures. ...


Volatility

The boiling point of an element (or its compounds) is able to control the percentage of that element which is released by a power reactor accident. In addition the ability of an element to form a solid controls the rate at which it is deposited on the ground after it has been injected into the atmosphere by a nuclear detonation. The boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which it can change its state from a liquid to a gas throughout the bulk of the liquid at a given pressure. ... The periodic table of the chemical elements (this version outdated on October 13, 2006) A chemical element, or element for short, is a pure substance that cannot be decomposed into any simpler substance. ... A chemical compound is a chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemically bonded chemical elements, with a fixed ratio determining the composition. ...


Half-life

In bomb fallout, a large amount of short-lived isotopes such as 97Zr are present. This isotope and the other short-lived isotopes are being constantly generated in a power reactor, but because the criticality occurs over a long length of time the majority of these short lived isotopes decay before they can be released.


Below is shown a comparison of the calculated gamma dose rates in open air from the fallout of a fission bomb and of the Chernobyl release. It is clear that average half-life of the Chernobyl release is longer than that for the bomb fallout. This article is about electromagnetic radiation. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 lifted nuclear fallout some 18 km (60,000 feet) above the epicenter. ...

See also

Infiltrated by the Cacophony Society, the Wilshire Cafe became known as the Atomic Cafe after they put habenero pepper extract in all the food. ... The old United States civil defense logo. ... A black and white photograph of the Castle Bravo mushroom cloud. ... The term dirty bomb is primarily used to refer to a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD), a radiological weapon which combines radioactive material with conventional explosives. ... Cover of Fallout Protection, 1961 Fallout Protection - What To Know And Do About Nuclear Attack, was an official government booklet released in December of 1961 by the United States Department of Defense and The Office of Civil Defense. ... A sign pointing to an old fallout shelter in New York City. ... Fallout is a RTÉ two-part fictional drama, made in the style of a documentary. ... The Sellafield facility on the Cumbrian coast, United Kingdom Sellafield is the name of a nuclear site, close to the village and railway station of Seascale, operated by the British Nuclear Group, but owned since 1 April 2005 by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A hot particle is a small, highly radioactive object, with significant content of radionuclides. ... Since the discovery of ionizing radiation, a number of human radiation experiments have been performed to understand the effects of ionizing radiation and radioactive contamination on the human body. ... Pathways from airborne radioactive contamination to man This article covers notable accidents involving nuclear material. ... A neutron bomb is a type of tactical nuclear weapon developed specifically to release a relatively large portion of its energy as energetic neutron radiation to harm biological tissues and electronic devices, that are otherwise relatively protected from the heat blast, without causing nuclear fallout. ... Nuclear War Survival Skills or NWSS by Cresson Kearny is a civil defense manual. ... Cresson Henry Kearny was born on January 7, 1914 in San Antonio, Texas and died on December 18, 2003. ... The first nuclear weapons, though large, cumbersome and inefficient, provided the basic design building blocks of all future weapons. ... Nuclear terrorism can be used to describe any of the following terrorist assaults: Use of nuclear weapons against a civilian target Use of a radiological weapon or dirty bomb against a civilian target An attack against a nuclear power plant Some believe that no such act has ever taken place. ... Potassium iodide is a white crystalline salt with chemical formula KI, used in photography and radiation treatment. ... The radiation warning symbol (trefoil). ... A radiological weapon (or radiological dispersion device, RDD) is any weapon that is designed to spread radioactive contamination, either to kill, or to deny the use of an area (a modern version of salting the earth) and consists of a device (such as a nuclear or conventional explosive) which spreads... Radiation Hazard symbol. ... Radiation biology is the interdisciplinary field of science that studies the biological effects of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation of the whole electromagnetic spectrum, including radioactivity (alpha, beta and gamma), x-rays, ultraviolet radiation, visible light, microwaves, radio wave, low-frequency radiation (such as used in alternate electric transmission, ultrasound... An illustration showing the various sources of nuclear waste Radioactive waste are waste types containing radioactive chemical elements that do not have a practical purpose. ... Copy of Survival Under Atomic Attack issued by the Cleveland office of Civil Defense. ...

References

  • Glasstone, Samuel and Dolan, Philip J., The Effects of Nuclear Weapons (third edition), U.S. Government Printing Office, 1977. (Available Online)
  • NATO Handbook on the Medical Aspects of NBC Defensive Operations (Part I - Nuclear), Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, Washington, D.C., 1996, (Available Online)
  • Smyth, H. DeW., Atomic Energy for Military Purposes, Princeton University Press, 1945. (Smyth Report)
  • The Effects of Nuclear War in America, Office of Technology Assessment (May 1979) (Available Online)
  • T. Imanaka, S. Fukutani, M. Yamamoto, A. Sakaguchi and M. Hoshi, J. Radiation Research, 2006, 47, Suppl A121-A127.

The Smyth Report was the common name given to an administrative history written by physicist Henry DeWolf Smyth about the Allied World War II effort to develop the atomic bomb, the Manhattan Project. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Nuclear fallout - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3147 words)
Fallout is the residual radiation hazard from a nuclear explosion and is named from the fact that it "falls out" of the atmosphere into which it is spread during the explosion.
Nuclear weapons are relatively inefficient in their use of fissionable material, usually only 2%-40% of the fissionable material undergoes fission and much of the uranium and plutonium is dispersed by the explosion without undergoing fission.
The radiobiological hazard of worldwide fallout is essentially a long-term one due to the potential accumulation of long-lived radioisotopes, such as strontium-90 and caesium-137, in the body as a result of ingestion of foods incorporating these radioactive materials.
Nuclear fallout - definition of Nuclear fallout in Encyclopedia (2116 words)
Fallout is the residual radiation hazard from a nuclear explosion and is named from the fact that it "falls out" of the atmosphere in to which it is spread during the explosion.
Nuclear weapons are relatively inefficient in their use of fissionable material, and much of the uranium and plutonium is dispersed by the explosion without undergoing fission.
Fallout from seawater is unusually dangerous because it is difficult to remove by washing.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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