Pollution and Health: 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

tragedy due to mercury

Waste such as mercury polluting the environment. picture via php.med

You talk about a tragedy! Imagine that. You are growing in Japan in 1950. War which completely destroyed the country eventually disappear into a distant memory as the economy recovers, and suddenly, the sister of the child is suddenly able to walk on a button or buttons, and even talk. Sometimes, crises of. Soon all the children in the region suffer from similar diseases. Then the birds begin to fall from the sky and flying fish to the surface. Above all, my sister, and several of its neighbors to slip into a coma and die soon. This, in brief, what happened in Minamata, Japan in 1950. I fear my head. Fortunately for the world, there was a new deadly plague. Unfortunately for poor people in Minamata, it appears that acetaldehyde local factory dumping tons and tons of mercury into the nearby ocean. This event has become one of the largest man-made disasters on the environment of the 20th century (and gave a more serious mercury poisoning exotic names - Minamata disease)

Minamata disease symptoms include terrible numbness, muscle weakness, vision unstoppable, hearing and speech, and in severe cases, coma and death. Among the first batch people diagnosed with the disease in 1956, over 30% died. As scientists first thought, the disease of the pathogen because of the local nature (it seems to occur in groups of families and neighborhoods), people were terrified. Mortality from infectious diseases to 30% can cause serious problems. This led to the first patients in quarantine, after ostrasized community. Unsurprisingly, access to the panic spread of the disease Brough local community. It took three years to the full extent of mercury pollution and contamination to be disclosed to the public.

In fact, as the water sample, researchers were surprised by the amount of mercury found in the water there. It turned out there were about 2 kg of mercury per ton of sediment. Just to give you an indication, the mercury content was so high that the company later returned to the mercury mines of the colonies! Unbelievable. After testing the hair of the local population, it has been conclusively established that they were exposed to massive doses of mercury in fish and shellfish, he drank local water. While people living outside of Minamata mercury levels recorded only 4 parts per million (ppm) of asymptomatic persons with Minamata often have a level of 190PPM, 705PPM and as high as reported in some patients. Almost 200 times normal!

In response worthy of the stereotypical evil corporation (as described by Hollywood), as evidence mounted against his company Chisso (spills of mercury) has stopped the discharge of pollutants directly into the ocean. Instead, he decided to be good neighbors and began to throw into a river near Minamoto, causing a number of further suffering. Well done guys. The road to accountability.

Unfortunately, when this knowledge was not power for many years. It took 12 years before any serious action has been taken by someone to stop this disease. Although there is no way to pay people to suffer, and at least some financial compensation. Not perfect, but better than nothing. At the end of 2265 was officially recognized as suffering from Minamata disease and more than 10,000 people were officially recognized, but no compensation for their suffering. Depressing, but only because he was arrested pollution that the production process, which resulted in the production of mercury waste is outdate and was replaced.

It's a real tragedy that we hope to avoid many environmental disasters in the future (even if a second outbreak in 1960 on average in a separate part of Japan have shown that all not had a lesson). Lawsuits from patients and their family life are still ongoing today.

via alex-esoterica

Saturday, October 23, 2010

toxic effects of mercury on health

Waste such as mercury polluting the environment. figure via embryology

mercury effect. figure via eytonsearth

young children affected by environmental pollution. figure via infraredsauna

Mercury is contained in some of the fish we eat, whether caught in lakes and streams or to buy groceries. Mercury is also present in some of the products we use, which can be found at home, dentists, and schools. This article contains links to information on sources of mercury exposure, potential effects on health, fish may contain mercury, consumer products that contain mercury, and ways to reduce mercury exposure .

General information on mercury exposure and

Forms of mercury. Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is in the air, water and soil. There are several forms:

elemental mercury or metal
• inorganic mercury and
• organic compounds of mercury.

Sources of mercury. Mercury is an element of the crust. You can not create or destroy mercury. Pure mercury is a liquid metal, sometimes called mercury that evaporates easily. It is traditionally used to make products like thermometers, switches and bulbs.

Mercury is found in many rocks including coal. When coal is burned, mercury is released into the environment. coal plants are the largest source of man-caused mercury emissions in the air in the U.S., representing over 40 percent of total national emissions of mercury caused by man. The EPA estimates that about one quarter of U.S. emissions by coal plants are deposited in the neighboring United States, and the remainder enters the general circulation. burning hazardous wastes, producing chlorine, breaches of mercury, mercury spills, and improper treatment and disposal of products or wastes containing mercury, it can release into the environment. According to current estimates, less than half of all mercury deposition in the U.S. comes from U.S. sources.

Exposure to mercury. The mercury in the air eventually settles into water or on land where it can be washed with water. Once deposited, certain microorganisms can change into methylmercury, a toxic form that accumulates in fish, shellfish and animals that eat fish. Fish and seafood are the main sources of methylmercury exposure to humans. Methylmercury builds up more on certain types of fish and shellfish than others. Concentrations of methylmercury in fish and shellfish depend on what they eat, how long they live and how high up the food chain.

EPA is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and with states and tribes to issue advice to women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers and parents of young children, how often you should eat certain types of trade in fish and shellfish caught. Alarms are also issued to fish for men, women and children of all ages, if any. In addition, EPA publishes an annual summary of information about local fish and alerts sent food safety recommendations to the public. Fish is a good part of the diet, if EPA and the FDA continues to encourage people to eat fish low in methylmercury.

Another exhibition, less mercury, which may be of concern is inhalation of mercury vapor. These exposures can occur when products containing mercury or elemental mercury break and release into the air, especially in warm or poorly ventilated indoor environments.

The health effects of mercury. mercury exposure at high levels can damage the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune systems of people of all ages. Studies show that eating fish does not cause the majority of these health problems. However, showed that high levels of methylmercury in the blood of unborn babies and young children can be detrimental to the developing nervous system, making children less able to think and learn.

via medicinenet

Monday, October 18, 2010

environmental damage caused by mining petroleum

"map environmental damage due to mud Lapindo" figure via masif

"Lumpur Lapindo, Situbondo, Indonesia" figure via matanews

For now most of us are in dire need of petroleum as an energy source. but do you know the environmental damage that has been going around places where petroleum drilling or oil that spilled into the sea when will be distributed.

in Situbondo, East Java, Indonesia, the failure of crude oil while digging resulted in big losses for the people, companies and even countries. tens of hectares of land inundated by the mud. many residents are forced to move because her house had been submerged in mud. create a traumatic incident of most citizens.

meanwhile, we can see the other events due to petroleum distribution activities. Tengker ship sank, spilling oil into the sea. What happens there is damage to marine ecosystems.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

pollution impacts to sanitation

Water is a key resource for our quality of life, things that grow and manufacture. It also provides systems and ecological habitat in Europe, plants and animals.

Access to safe water for drinking and sanitation is a prerequisite for health and well-being. Most people in Europe with access to drinking water quality. However, in some parts of the quality is still often do not meet basic biological and chemical agents. Fresh, clean water is also essential for ecosystems. Plants and animals in lakes, rivers and seas to respond to environmental changes caused by chemical changes in water quality and physical disturbance of habitats. Changes in species composition of groups of organisms such as phytoplankton, algae, macrophytes, animals and fish can be caused by climate change. They may also indicate changes in water quality due to eutrophication, organic pollution, hazardous substances or oil. Changes in habitat can cause physical disturbance through dams, drainage and dredging of rivers, construction of reservoirs, sand and gravel in the coastal waters, bottom trawling by fishing vessels, etc.

Almost all human actions can have negative effects and water. Water quality affects both the direct and diffuse pollution from point sources that come from rural and urban, industrial emissions and agriculture. pollution from agriculture and point source pollution from sewage wastewater and industrial discharges are the main sources. In agriculture, the main pollutants are nutrients, pesticides, sediment and faecal micro-organisms. Oxygen consumption of substances and hazardous chemicals are linked to discharges from point sources.

The graph shows the many sources of nitrogen pollution in water. In general, you can make a distinction between:

sources such as discharges from sewage wastewater, industrial and agricultural products;
sources, such as losses in the background (eg, forests), agricultural losses, losses from scattered dwellings and atmospheric deposition on water bodies (eg marine areas, or lakes).

via eea.europa

environmental pollution caused by waste plant

figure via outlookindia

figure via nmpirg

There is the saddest thing of our earth that the industrial orientation of our environment has changed for the worse. Almost any industrial activity in each country, especially the developed or developing country with a population that much like in China, India or Indonesia. Industrial atmosphere has an impact on the environment especially if the orientation as it does not pay attention to environmental integrity.

We can see many people who are exposed to sewage disposal plant, either smoke or liquid waste. Air around the factory or with a radius of more distant than it also polluted. These activities were clearly damaging to the ecosystem. water as a source of civic life is no longer useful because it was contaminated. Which protects the earth's atmosphere becomes damaged by smoke contains compounds that can react with atmospheric gases.

home design future

figure via rgu

figure via treehugger

figure via bbc

figure via solarsolutionsnj

figure via gearfuse

environmentally friendly house design

figure via ecohouseplan

It's very environmentally friendly home help rescue the world's program. home design example above, its design is also capable of protecting us from the dangers of earthquakes. before we make a house with the design above we must consider first the wind direction or position of our house. This is very important to the circulation of air will we can and it can affect our health.

home would be better if we faced toward the sunrise. then we will get more by using the above design because the roof is designed to reduce rain water into the ground and it was very useful to increase the ground water. There are things that you should not forget if you want to save the world, namely the use of electrical energy that is environmentally friendly using solar or wind power.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

geothermal energy

actual earth we have the resources that are very abundant. all that could be able to spoil us for life, ranging from coal to geothermal. we have many options. to protect the environment depends only on us again. would that harm the environment or vice versa? The following images can open our insights about alternative energy for our lives other than the use of extreme nuclear.

figure via visual.merriam

figure via visual.merriam

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

safe distance of a nuclear reactor

figure via eoearth

How close to a nuclear reactor, the radioactivity is monitored? What methods and measures of protection provided?

environmental research laboratories established in nuclear power plants, long before the beginning of the reactors. These testing laboratories and establish a baseline level of radioactivity in and around the site before the start of operation of the facility, then continue to monitor the area to ensure there is no excessive increase of radioactivity at a later date. channels of food and water leading to exposure of radioactivity by the population around the area are determined and monitoring methods are in place to ensure there is no increase in exposure due to operation of the plant. Environmental Research Laboratory has been operating since 1974 in the Kalpakkam reactor during mapping operations began only in 1983. The laboratory has studied the level of radioactivity in the materials associated with radiation exposure of humans (eg, cereals, vegetables, milk, seafood, water, air, salts, etc..) Level monitoring radioactivity of these materials takes place in а continuous for 32 km radial distance from the factory. ambient radiation levels are checked gauges and doses of radiation exposure are measured quarterly using thermoluminescent dosimeters а number of stations spread over 32 km radial zone. Samples from the field are processed in the laboratory and examined the level of radioactivity, radiochemistry analytical methods and advanced nuclear systems of counting. These levels are directly compared to baseline established prior to the MAPS has been launched. With the help of a system designed for consumption statistics Ка1раккат area, annual consumption of radioactivity member а representative of the population and, therefore, the exposure doses calculated using the measured level of radioactivity of materials in the food chain and environment. They are evaluated in comparison with the dose of exposure in the pre-operational. These methods have provided valuable data and demonstrate that the actions of MAPS has been а very small and negligible radiological impact on the environment. Similar results have been established in other nuclear plants in India.

In real life every day, in what areas and objects of daily use have met for radioactivity? What other areas where nuclear energy is used?

Radiation has always been present throughout the environment. Each person is also a natural radioactivity of potassium is an essential component of tissue and body fluids and contains small quantities of radioactive isotopes а К-40. In a small area of land а х 40 m 10 m surrounding а typical house is contained in the soil to a depth of 1 m, 2 kg of uranium, thorium б kg and 0.8 kg К-40, which are all radioactive and nuclear-related products with his daughter. Of course, U and Th concentrations are too low for economic recovery! Not only radioactive materials like uranium, thorium, radium and potassium, everywhere on earth, the sun is constantly streaming to Earth from space as cosmic rays. Our bodies also contain radioactive С-14, which is produced in the atmosphere and cosmic radiation absorbed by living organisms. Aero air travel, passengers are exposed to levels higher than normal due to cosmic radiation has increased (to 1640 m altitude cosmic radiation dose is about twice the sea level).

natural background radiation from natural radioactivity in soil and cosmic rays depends on the place until ten а factor. Irradiation of the population around nuclear power plants and the effects of the action proves to be a factor а 30 times lower than the average exposure to natural radiation.

Besides electricity generation, nuclear energy is used to provide heat for industry to food processing, and power supplies for transport (ships, submarines and spacecraft). There are also many other uses of radiation and nuclear radiation.

via nuceng

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Policies to overcome air pollution

For us who live in big cities will be familiar with air pollution from vehicle fumes. every day we face it. like in the pictures below. just imagine how bad our respiratory tract. exactly who is wrong? we or the government. Is there no policy that addresses this? if there is why there are still many vehicles that emit smoke like that? Try one of whom?

figure via dailymail

figure via molescroftprimary

figure via rickyds905

picture of wind power

Many people in today busy thinking about the impact of pollution that is very chronic. but whether they or we are concerned to act quickly without having to wait a long time and comment. actually there are many friendly energy for our lives, such as solar energy, wind and even water. Wind energy used by many people in Europe and America as an energy substitute, as shown in the picture below. why do not we try it from now.

Wind as an energy source. figure via treehugger

Windmills as to generate electrical energy. figure via saferenvironment

Windmill offshore. figure via reuk

One type of windmill. figure via reuk

Wind turbines on Highway. figure via keetsa

Windmills Element. figure via globalgwa

alternative energy from wind

Wind energy is produced using wind generators to use wind energy. It is becoming increasingly popular worldwide as a source of energy on a large scale, even though it still only represents less than one percent of global energy consumption. The items listed below to explore wind energy and its use worldwide.

via alternative-energy

Friday, September 24, 2010

How it works water reactor system

Water Reactor System

Boiling Water reactor System

Process in The Water Reaction System

Pressurized water reactors and boiling water are two main types of generators, which the United States. uses to generate electricity. pressurized water reactors are composed of a single installation of 200 fuel elements cadded zircaloy fuel "pins." These "anchors" is immersed in a large stainless steel tank containing ordinary "light" water. Light water serves both as coolant and moderator. Light water has a greater capacity to absorb neutrons than heavy water (D2O). This implies that increasing the percentage of 235U in the core. Uranium dioxide is the source of fuel for the reactor. The pressure vessel consists of a rod through the lid, light, water pressure, and heart of the reactor. The water temperature reaches about 270 degree Celcius without boiling, due to pressure of about 13.8 to 17.2 MPa. This pressure is maintained by a pressurizer. A "light" water circulates in a closed circuit with heat exchanger. This causes the water in a heat exchanger to heat and convert to steam. This steam one or more turbine generators, is condensed and pumped back into the steam generator. Another stream of water from lakes, rivers or cold, the steam is used to condense. It is necessary to disable the reactor completely remove the cover and replace the corresponding part of the axis of fuel to refuel, which takes place every 12 to 18 months. (See figure above)

There is a potential threat, with the possibility of cracks in the pipes of the cooling system. If this happens, there would be no way to prevent the reactor from overheating. Therefore, the danger, the reactors are surrounded by double walls of the building pressure and include a number of emergency cooling systems base.

A more effective way to remove heat is to allow the water to a boil. Coolant boiling water reactors of the reactor allows the heart to a boil. The steam generated is then separated, dried and sent directly to the turbines. After crossing generators, steam is condensed and transferred to the heart of reactor. As with a pressurized water reactor, boiling water reactor fuel U-235 enriched uranium dioxide. In addition, collection of steam is also present in the upper reactor. Yet a boiling water reactor, in common with a pressurized water reactor is that it must be stopped for refueling. (See figure above)

Regarding security, the entire reactor is housed in the first housing chamber, which contains, under the great ring-shaped tunnel filled with water a little. If water or steam to escape, he falls into the tunnel and condensed. In addition, the tunnel, there are several alarm systems in place.

via umich

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Know the structure of the earth's atmosphere

The Earth's atmosphere:
gas mixture to suspend certain solids and liquids.

Three common constant in the atmosphere:

-Salt - from Ocean Spray

Gas composition of the atmosphere:
- Nitrogen - 78% of atmosphere
- Oxygen - 21% of atmosphere
- Trace gases - 1% - Neon, Helium, Hydrogen, Methane, Carbon Dioxide

Creating the atmosphere:
The atmosphere is the result of a planetary degassing, a process in which gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen were released from inside the Earth and volcanoes other processes.

Structure of the Earth's atmosphere: (With the basis of space.)
Troposphere-ok. ground to 10 km (about 7 miles up)
- Where is the layer of the Earth.
- It contains 75% of our atmosphere of greenhouse gases
- Weather and clouds of smog occur in the troposphere
Stratosphere - 10 km - 45 km (about 7 miles, 30 miles)
- The ozone layer is here
- jet can be found here
- Little or no water vapor
Mesosphere - 45 km -95 km at the top (30 to 50 miles)
the coldest part of the atmosphere
Thermosphere - about 95 km to 500 km (50 miles up)
1. Hottest layer of the atmosphere.
lower layer called the ionosphere thermosphere
- Ionosphere with charged particles electronically.
- reflects radio waves
- The day of this layer distorts the radio waves emitted by the charges for a large number of particles of solar energy and causes a lot of static problems.
- At night, it is less loaded. Therefore, it is easier to hear the AM radio late at night
Exosphere - approximantly 500 km and beyond
The outer layer of the atmosphere over
Very few air molecules in this layer
The lack of clear boundaries between the layers and space

via williamsclass

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chemical waste can be collected

Chemical waste can be collected in different types of containers. NIH chemical waste contractor will provide 3 or 5 gallons cans, plastic safety solvent (a mixture of flammable solvents) 3 or 5 gallons of blue balloons waste plastic five-gallon plastic bucket liquids and gels, and solid waste. Glass and plastic bottles of different sizes can be used for collecting waste chemicals generated in small quantities. Scientists often empties buffer or solvent for chemical waste collection.
When you add a variety of chemical wastes in their garbage container, do not create incompatible mixtures. (For example: do not mix acid and alkalis, acids, cyanides, oxidizing and organic materials). incompatible chemicals can produce heat, pressure, fire, explosion, toxic gases or flammable gases. More information:
EPA Chemical Compatibility Chart
For more information on specific threats of chemical reaction, which can be expected to mix some of the common laboratory chemicals

Examples of chemical wastes are generally collected in safety boxes solvent
Ø flammable solvents in the process of DNA synthesis and HPLC
Ø acetonitrile, alcohol, xylene, acetone, ethyl acetate, hexane, etc.
Ø mixtures of flammable solvents, with 10% or less of halogenated solvents

Note: Do not acid in a solvent metal safety cans will rust!
HPLC users can access special management of the container to connect the HPLC

Examples of chemical waste collected in the balloons are usually made of blue plastic
Ø formalin solution
Ø Set / author waste
wastewater containing ethidium bromide and other impurities Ø
Ø aqueous buffer solutions may contain small amounts of sodium azide
Ø aqueous acid or alkaline (we do not collect together)
Ø diaminobenzidine solution
Ø compounds halogenated solvents and other organic solvents
Acid / alcohol solutions
Ø Acrylamide / bisacrylamide solutions
Ø phenol / chloroform

Examples of chemical waste is usually collected in buckets 5 gallons, plastic
Ø polyacrylamide gels, often containing biological stains
Ø an agarose gel, often contain ethidium bromide staining or other

Note: If you create small amounts of chemical waste, it can be collected in each glass bottles or plastic (not the introduction of hydrofluoric acid in a glass bottle, and some halogenated solvents may soften plastic bottles and cause damage over time).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Know how to work a nuclear reactor

Nuclear reactors is a control system that includes sustainable Nuclear chain reactions. The reactors are used for electricity generation, production of radionuclides (for industry and medicine), scientific research and military purposes. All the different models of jet engines for power generation to achieve the same simple task: a generator of Spinning. Many commercial reactors across the water to heat the fuel rods to produce steam and drive turbines. Some projects require passage through a pile of stones helium to produce fuel for heat. Another project uses a saline solution of sodium as a coolant.

- The heart of the reactor includes all nuclear fuel and generates heat. Containing low-enriched uranium (less than 5% of the control systems U-235), and building materials. The nucleus can contain hundreds of thousands of individual fuel rods.
- Refrigerant is the material that passes through the heart, to transfer heat from the fuel to the turbine. This can be water, heavy water, saline sodium, helium, or something else. In the U.S. fleet of reactors, water is the norm.
- The heat transfer of refrigerant turbine electricity, as fossil fuel plants.
- The spread is the structure that separates the reactor environment. They are usually dome-shaped, high density, steel-reinforced concrete. In Chernobyl, there is no container to speak.
- The cooling towers are required by some plants to drain excess heat, which can be converted into energy because of the laws of thermodynamics. These icons nuclear hyperbolic. They emit only pure water vapor.

This image (reproduced from the NRC) shows a nuclear reactor to heat water and turn a generator to produce electricity. Sytem recognize the essence of the property. Water in the radiator, and then you may be back on the water of the river, lake or sea will stack. As you can see, this water is not close to the radioactivity, which is in the reactor tank.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Increase in Global Temperature

Effects or consequences, the increase in temperature causes climate change, which can be physical, ecological, social and economic. Observed evidence of climate change includes the instrumental record of temperature, sea levels, and decreased snow cover in northern Hemisphere.Some the impact of rising temperatures are already underway.

The melting of ice in the world. This includes mountain glaciers, ice caps of Greenland and West Antarctica and covering the Arctic sea ice. Number of penguins in the Antarctic has dropped from 32,000 to 11,000 breeding pairs in 30 years.

sea level unexpectedly 7-23 inches (18 to 59 cm) at the end of the century. Between 1993 and 2003, the rate has increased over the previous period to 3.1 [2.4 to 3.8] mm per year. and more melt at the poles could add between 4 and 8 inches (10-20 cm).

What Hurricane Katrina and other storms can become stronger.Floods and droughts become more frequent. Rainfall in Ethiopia, where droughts are already common, could decline by 10 percent over the next 50 years.

Fresh water is less available. If the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru continues to melt at its current rate, it will be gone by 2100, leaving thousands of people who rely on it for drinking water and electricity without any source either.Varieties diseases such as malaria carried by mosquitoes spread.Such.

Ecosystems are changing. According to scientists at the Wildlife Research Martyn Ob Bard, that since mid-1980, with less ice on which they live and fish for food, polar bears have got a lot thinner. Similarly, he found in the Hudson Bay polar bear biologist Ian Stirling. Fears that, if sea ice disappears, polar bears will be well.

via sea-climate

How Global Warming Process

Global warming is an increase in average temperature of the air at the Earth's surface and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation.

The global average temperature at Earth's surface rose 0.74 ± 0.18 ° C (1.33 ± 0.32 ° F) during the last 100 years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that "most of the observed increase in global average temperature since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic gas concentrations greenhouse gases "by the greenhouse effect.

natural phenomena such as solar changes, combined with volcanoes probably had a small warming effect from pre-industrial times to 1950 and a small cooling effect since 1950. These basic conclusions have been endorsed by at least 30 scientific societies and academies of science, including all of the National Academy of Sciences of the major industrialized countries. Few scientists disagree with some of the main conclusions of the IPCC.

Climate model projections summarized by the IPCC indicate that average surface temperature will likely rise between 1.1 and then 6.4 ° C (2.0 to 11.5 degrees F) in the 21st century. The range of values using different scenarios of future emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as models with different climate sensitivity. Although most research focuses on the period up to 2100, warming and rising sea levels will continue over a thousand years, even if levels of greenhouse gas emissions are stabilized. Delay in the balance achieved is the result of the large heat capacity of the oceans.

Increasing global temperature will lead to sea level rise and should increase the intensity of extreme weather events and changes in the quantity and type of precipitation. Other effects of global warming include changes in agricultural yields, glacier retreat, species extinctions and increases in the ranges of disease vectors.

The scientific uncertainties remain, including the amount of warming expected in the future, and how warming and related changes depends on the region around the world. Currently, the political and public debate about what is on in the world, if any, action should be taken to reduce or reverse future warming or to adapt to the expected effects. Most national governments have signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas emissions.

via myclimatechange

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Air Pollution Impacts On Our Health

Polluted air contains one or more hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants that pose a threat to global health. It is usually measured in terms of "particulate matter, or the number of particles of these potentially dangerous substances as a percentage of the air. According to the National Resources Defense Council, some 64,000 people in the United States may die prematurely each year from causes related to cardiovascular disease to air pollution. This link came when the National Resources Defense Council used since 1995 to research conducted by the American Cancer Society and Harvard Medical School. air pollution from coal power plants account for about 30,000 premature deaths in the United States each year. It is estimated that in the most polluted cities, the force is reduced by an average of one to two years.

Dust covers a wide range of pollutants - road dust, diesel soot, ash, wood smoke, nitrates in fertilizers, sulfate aerosols, lead, arsenic, etc. The main source of particulate emissions is the burning of fossil fuels like coal, gasoline and wood. Air pollution from burning coal in power tools is the dominant cause of smog, deadly soot, global warming, pollution in our national parks, toxic contamination of fish and polluted estuaries.

The proposed restriction on the federal "average" of 50 micrograms of "particles" per unit volume of air (on a scale of one year) is considered poor air quality. It is proved that the maximum daily, contributing to the average of the year, may have a significant impact on human health. The elderly and people with heart problems, lung problems or asthma are most at risk. The exact impact of air quality on health is not exactly known, but the long-term exposure to particles can increase susceptibility to infection. People with chronic lung or heart disease, may also strengthen the conditions. forecast daily pollution monitoring may be useful for people suffering from chronic diseases, in addition to the exposure may be limited to bad days. See the health effects of air pollution

via healthandenergy

Nuclear Waste Management For The Preservation of Future Generations

Like all industries, electricity, produces waste heat. Whatever the fuel, the waste must be managed to protect human health and minimize their environmental impact.

Nuclear energy is only the energy industry, which takes full responsibility for all waste and product costs.

    Radioactivity arises naturally from the decomposition of various forms of elements, called isotopes. Some isotopes are radioactive, most are not, although in this publication "Focus on the former.

    There are three types of radiation to be considered: alpha, beta and gamma. The fourth type, neutron radiation, usually occurs within the nuclear reactor. Different types of radiation require different forms of protection:

    • Alpha radiation can not penetrate the skin and can be blocked by a sheet of paper, but it is dangerous to the lungs.
    • Beta radiation can penetrate the body, but can be blocked by a sheet of aluminum foil.
    • Gamma rays can penetrate the body and requires several centimeters of lead or concrete, or water meters to lock.

    All these types of radiation, at low levels, of course, part of our environment. Or they may all be present in the waste classification. Radioactive waste contains a variety of materials requiring different types of management to protect humans and the environment. They are generally classified as low, medium or high level waste, depending on the quantity and type of radiation in them.

    Another factor in the management of waste is the time when they are likely to remain dangerous. It depends on the type of radioactive isotopes in them, and in particular its lifetime characteristic of each of these isotopes. Half-life is the time taken by the radioactive isotope to lose half its radioactivity. After four half-life of the level of radioactivity is 1/16th of the original and after eight half-lives 1/256th.

    Different radioactive isotopes, which have half-lives ranging from fractions of seconds to minutes, hours or days, until billions of years. Radioactivity decreases with time as these isotopes decay into stable, these non-radioactive. The decay rate of isotopes is inversely proportional to its half-life, short average half-life that decays rapidly. Thus, for each type of radiation, the greater the intensity of radiation in a given amount of material, more than half the life of the parties.

    Three main principles are used in the management of radioactive waste:

    • Concentration and memory
    • Dilute-and-dispersion
    • Delay and decay.

    The first two are also used in the management of waste other than radioactive waste. Waste, or concentrate, then single or dilution to an acceptable level, then discharged into the environment. Delay and distribution, however, is unique to the management of radioactive waste, which means that waste is stored and can reduce the radioactivity by decay of naturally radioactive isotopes it contains.

    Types of radioactive waste (radioactive waste)

    The low-level waste is generated from hospitals, laboratories and industry, and the cycle of nuclear fuel. It consists of paper, rags, tools, clothing, filters etc. which contain small amounts of radiation of relatively short duration. It is safe to use, but must be removed more carefully than normal garbage. It is usually buried in shallow landfills. Reduce its volume, it is often compacted or incinerated (in a closed container) before disposal. Around the world, covers 90% of the volume, but only 1% of the radioactivity of all radioactive waste.

    medium-level waste contains large amounts of radiation and may require special shielding. is generally composed of resins, chemical sludge and reactor components and contaminated materials from reactor decommissioning. He made the world a volume of 7% and 4% of the radioactivity of all radioactive waste. It can be solidified in concrete or bitumen for disposal. Usually short-lived waste (mainly from reactors) is buried, but long-lived waste (from reprocessing nuclear fuel) will be removed from deep underground.

    High-level waste can be used the same fuel, or waste his principal reprocessing. And only 3% by volume of all radioactive waste, it has 95% of the radioactivity. It contains highly radioactive fission products of heavy elements, and a little long-term radioactivity. Generates considerable amounts of heat and do not require refrigeration, as well as special shielding during handling and transport. If you use the fuel is processed, the vitrified waste separated by integrating it into borosilicate (Pyrex) glass which is encased in stainless steel containers for permanent storage deep underground.

    On the other hand, if reactor fuel is not reprocessed, all remain highly radioactive isotopes, and so all the fuel elements are considered HLW. The fuel used to take about nine times the size of equivalent vitrified high activity, which results from reprocessing, and seems ready to retire.

    The high level waste and the fuel is highly radioactive and managing people must be protected against radiation. These materials are shipped in special containers which prevent leakage and radiation, which is no fracture in the accident.

    Is the fuel is used for reprocessing or not, the volume of HLW is low - about 3 cubic meters per year from 1925 to 1930 tons of vitrified waste or fuel for a typical large nuclear reactor. A relatively small amount can effectively and economically isolated.

    Radioactive materials in the environment

    Naturally occurring radioactive materials are ubiquitous in the environment, even if the concentrations are very low and they are generally not harmful.

    Soil naturally contains many radioactive materials - uranium, thorium, radium and radon, a radioactive gas, which escapes into the atmosphere continuously. Many parts of the crust are more radioactive than the waste with low levels described above. Radiation is not something which arises simply using uranium to generate electricity, although the mining and milling of uranium ore and some other makes such radioactive materials into closer contact with people, in the case of radon and its decay products, accelerates their release into the atmosphere. (See also radiation, and life in this series.)

    Waste nuclear fuel cycle

    Radioactive waste at all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle - the process of producing electricity from nuclear material. fuel cycle includes mining and milling of uranium ore, processing and production of nuclear fuel, its use in the reactor, the reprocessing of spent fuel from the reactor after use and finally disposal of waste.

    fuel cycle, is often treated as two parts - the front part, which extends from mining, through the use of uranium in the reactor - and the end "back", which involves removing fuel used in the reactor and its treatment, and disposal. This is where the radioactive waste are major problems.

    Residues from the front "of the fuel cycle

    The annual demand for fuel for light water reactor l000 MWe is about 25 tons of enriched uranium oxide. This requires the extraction and processing of 50,000 tonnes of ore could provide about 200 tons of uranium oxide concentrate (U3O8) from the mine.

    In uranium mines, dust is controlled to minimize inhalation of radioactive minerals and radon levels are minimized by good ventilation and dispersion of air in large quantities. The mill, dust collects and reintroduced into the process, while radon gas is diluted and dispersed into the atmosphere large quantities of air.

    In the mine tailings in the bedrock milling operations include most of the radioactive material from the ore, such as councils. This material is discharged into tailings dams which retain the remaining solids and prevent leakage. Residue contains about 70% of the radioactivity of the ore origin.

    At the end of the residues can be moved to the mine or may be covered with rock and clay, then covered with vegetation. In this case, great care is taken to ensure their long term stability and avoid the environmental impact (which would be more acid leaching or dust that radioactivity as such).

    The releases are usually about ten times more radioactive than typical granites, such as those used in municipal buildings. If someone to live permanently in the top residues Ranger will receive approximately twice the normal dose of radiation from the tailings real (ie they have received the triple dose).

    Preview situ (ISL) mining, soluble materials other than uranium are simply returned underground, where they come from, and the water is recycled.

    uranium oxide (U3O8) produced from mining and milling of uranium ore is only slightly radioactive - most of the radioactivity of the original ore remains in the tailings.

    Turning uranium oxide concentrate to useful fuel has no impact on the level of radioactivity of the waste and not significant.

    First, the uranium oxide is converted into gas, uranium hexafluoride (UF6) as feedstock for enrichment.

    Then, during the enrichment for each ton of uranium hexafluoride is divided into about 130 kg of enriched UF6 (3.5% U-235) and 870 kg "depleted uranium" UF6 (especially U- 238). The enriched UF6 is converted into uranium dioxide (UO2) powder and pressed into pellets of fuel, which are enclosed in zirconium alloy tubes to form fuel rods.

    Depleted uranium has several uses, although the high density (density 18.7) must be applied in the keels of yachts, aircraft control surface counterweights, anti-tank ammunition and protection against radiation. It is also a potential source of energy for each reactor (SWIFT).

    Waste from the back end of fuel cycle

    In other words, when uranium is used in a reactor that significant quantities of highly radioactive waste are created. When an atom of uranium-235 is divided creates products of fission are highly radioactive and form a large part of nuclear waste stored in the fuel rods. There is also a relatively small amount of radioactivity in part caused by the radiation from neutron reactor.

    About 25 tonnes of fuel used each year, taking deep l000 MWe nuclear reactor. This fuel can be regarded as entirely as waste (as in 40% of world production in the U.S. and Canada) or can be reprocessed (as in Europe and Japan). Whatever your choice, the fuel is stored after the first years under water in the reactor cooling ponds. concrete ponds and water, including fuel assemblies provide protection against radiation, while removing the heat produced by radioactive decay.

    Pond to store spent fuel in the United Kingdom to the processing plant

    The costs of proceedings in the high-level waste are included in electricity rates. For example, the U.S., consumers pay 0.1 cents per kilowatt hour, what tools to pay the special fund. To date, over 18 billion dollars raised this way.


    If the fuel is used for further transformation, it is dissolved and chemically separated uranium, plutonium and waste of high-level solutions. Approximately 97% of fuel used can be recycled leaving only 3% of high level waste. The recycling of depleted uranium is used primarily for less than 1% U-235, with some plutonium, which is most precious.

    From the operation of a typical year l000 MWe nuclear reactor, about 230 kilograms of plutonium (1% of spent fuel) is separated in the reprocessing. This can be used fresh mixed oxide (MOX) (but not weapons, because of its composition). manufacture of MOX fuel produced in Europe, with approximately 25 years of operational experience. The main factory is located in France and launched in 1995. Japan is slightly smaller plant to begin in 2012. Across Europe, the permit more than 35 reactors load 20-50% of cores with MOX fuel.

    Separated high-level waste - about 3% of reactor fuel typically used - up to 700 kg per year and must be isolated from the environment for a very long time.

    Commercial reprocessing plants operate in France and Britain, with a capacity of 5,000 tons of spent fuel per year - the equivalent of at least one third of world production. In total, more than 90,000 tons of spent fuel has been treated more than 40 years.

    immobilization of high level waste

    The solidification

    have been developed in several countries over the last fifty years. HLW liquid is evaporated to dryness, mixed with glass forming materials, melted and poured into a robust stainless steel containers, which are then sealed by welding.

    borosilicate glass factory waste vitrification first in the UK in 1960. This block contains waste chemically identical to high from reprocessing. A piece of this size will contain all the high-level waste from nuclear power plants generating electricity for a person in a normal life.

    Vitreous-life 1000 years MWe reactor is expected to take approximately twelve containers, each 1.3m high and 0.4 m in diameter and holding 400 kg of glass. Europe vitrification plants produce about 1,000 commercial tons per year of such vitrified waste (2500 cartridges), and some have been operating for more than 20 years.

    Loading silos with canisters containing vitrified high level waste in the UK, each disc is on the operating floor elevator ten boxes

    More sophisticated methods of immobilization of highly radioactive waste has been developed in Australia. The name "SYNROC (synthetic rock), radioactive waste is incorporated into the mineral crystals naturally stable in the rock synthesis. In other words, copying what happens in nature. This process is being tested in the States USA.

    Waste disposal

    waste disposal of high level is delayed for 40-50 years to allow its radioactivity to decay, after which less than one thousandth of its initial radiation remains, and it is much easier to use. Therefore, the combustion products of vitrified waste canisters are used or stored in water in special ponds or in dry concrete structures or casks for at least the same period.

    Vitreous final sale or use of fuel elements, without treatment, they must be isolated from the environment for a long period. The methods most favored burial in a dry, stable geological approximately 500 meters. Many countries consider the parties would be technically and social acceptance. United States continued to guard the site for all people of the fuel used in Nevada.

    A guard has been built deep geological radioactive waste in the long term (although defense applications only) is already in use in New Mexico.

    Once buried in about 1000 years, most of the radioactivity will be broken. The level of radioactivity, and the rest will be similar to natural uranium ore from which it originates, although it is more concentrated.

    Layers of protection

    To ensure there are no significant releases of Perio environment long after the elimination of multiple barrier "concept is used to remove the immobilization of radioactive elements in the high (and intermediate) waste and isolate it from the biosphere. The main obstacles are the following:

    Immobilise waste in an insoluble matrix, eg borosilicate glass, SYNROC (or leave them in the form of pellets of uranium oxide fuel - ceramic).
    Wrap it in stainless steel resistant to corrosion, for example.
    containers with bentonite clay surround prevents any movement of groundwater, if the repository can be wet.
    Located deep in stable rock.
    For each of radioactivity to reach human populations or the environment, all these obstacles must not be breached before the radioactivity decayed.

    What happens in the U.S. and Europe?

    United States high-level civil wastes all remain stored in the form of fuel used in the reactor sites. It is intended to symbolize the fuel elements and remove them in the archives of underground engineering for Yucca Mountain in Nevada. It is a program that is funded by electricity consumers to U.S. $ 26000000000 to date (ie@0.1 cents per kWh), about U.S. $ 6 billion have been issued.

    In Europe, part of the fuel is stored at reactor sites, even awaiting disposal. However, much of the energy in Europe, the past is sent for processing at Sellafield in the United Kingdom and La Hague in France. The recovered uranium and plutonium are then returned to their owners (the MOX fuel fabrication plant) and sorted waste (about 3% of spent fuel) are vitrified, sealed in stainless steel containers, and either stored or returned . Ultimately, they will go to geological disposal.

    Sweden is a big difference. At no centralized storage of fuel used in CLAB near Oskarshamn, and symbolize the fuel used when the geological storage of about 2015. Finland is to establish a disposal facility at Olkiluoto. European funds are at a level similar to the U.S. per kWh.

    Previous Natural

    We have an example in nature that the final disposal of high level waste is safely underground. Two billion years in the Oklo in Gabon, West Africa, the chain reaction started spontaneously in the deposits of uranium ore concentrate. natural nuclear reactors in operation continues to create hundreds of thousand years of plutonium and highly radioactive waste all day in a nuclear power reactor. Despite the existence at the time of large quantities of water in the area of these materials remained, which were created and, possibly, elements other than radioactive decayed. The proof is there.

    Alternatives to Nuclear Energy

    No technology is completely safe and without consequences for the environment. It is therefore appropriate to compare the production of electricity from nuclear energy with other options available to us. (See also: Energy for the world: Why uranium? In this series) combustion of coal in power plants is still the main source of electricity in the world, and hydroelectric power, gas and uranium.

    1000 MWe light water reactor uses about 25 tons of enriched uranium per year, which requires the extraction of approximately 50,000 tons of uranium ore. For comparison, a 1000 MW coal power requires the extraction, transport, storage and incineration of approximately 3.2 million tons of coal per year. It is approximately 7,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, not to mention sulfur dioxide, according to the type of coal. Solid wastes from coal-fired power and can cause significant damage to the environment and health. (See also uranium, electricity and the greenhouse effect in this series)

    Many people are concerned about possible global warming by enhancing the greenhouse effect. Much of this is the result of a steady increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over the last 150 years. combustion of fossil fuels, especially coal, electricity contributes about 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.

    via world-nuclear

    Saturday, August 7, 2010

    Air Pollution and The Earth's Atmosphere

    The smog hanging over cities is the most popular and obvious form of air pollution. But there are different types of pollution, some visible, some invisible, which contribute to global warming. Generally, any substance that humans put into the atmosphere, which has adverse effects on the lives and believes air pollution on the environment.

    Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas emissions is the main pollutant that the Earth is warming. While carbon life, when we breathe, carbon dioxide is widely considered a pollutant when associated with cars, airplanes, power plants and other human activities that cause the burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline and natural gas. Over the past 150 years, these activities have pumped enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, raising the level higher than they were for hundreds of thousands of years.

    Other greenhouse gas methane from sources such as swamps and gases emitted by animals, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that were used in refrigeration and aerosols, until banned because of their impact on the ozone layer of Earth is deteriorating.

    Other pollutants associated with climate change is the sulfur dioxide, a component of smog. Sulphur dioxide and related chemicals are known as a cause of acid rain. But also reflect light when they are released into the atmosphere, which keeps the sunlight and causing the Earth to cool. Volcanic eruptions can spew huge amounts of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere, the cooling time, which lasts for years. In fact, volcanoes are a major source of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere, people are today.

    The industrialized countries have sought to reduce sulfur dioxide, smog and smoke to improve human health. But the result should not, until recently, is that lower levels of sulfur dioxide can make global warming worse. As sulfur dioxide from volcanoes can cool the planet by blocking sunlight, reducing the amount of the substance in the atmosphere allows more sunlight due to global warming. This effect is exaggerated when higher concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap additional heat.

    Most people agree that reducing global warming, various measures must be taken. On a personal level, the right and flying less, recycling and storage reduces the carbon footprint of a person, the amount of carbon dioxide is the person responsible for putting into the atmosphere.

    On a larger scale, governments should take measures to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions. One solution is the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement between countries to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. Another method is to introduce a tax on carbon emissions or higher taxes on gasoline, so that people and businesses will have greater incentive to save energy and pollute less.

    via environment.nationalgeographic