High-energy electromagnetic waves (x-rays, gamma rays)
Particles (alpha particles, beta particles, neutrons)
Alpha particles are energetic helium nuclei emitted by some radionuclides with high atomic numbers (eg, plutonium, radium, uranium); they cannot penetrate skin beyond a shallow depth (< 0.1 mm).
Beta particles are high-energy electrons that are emitted from the nuclei of unstable atoms (eg, cesium-137, iodine-131). These particles can penetrate more deeply into skin (1 to 2 cm) and cause both epithelial and subepithelial damage.
Neutrons are electrically neutral particles emitted by a few radionuclides (eg, californium-252) and produced in nuclear fission reactions (eg, in nuclear reactors); their depth of tissue penetration varies from a few millimeters to several tens of centimeters, depending on their energy. They collide with the nuclei of stable atoms, resulting in emission of energetic protons, alpha and beta particles, and gamma radiation.
Gamma radiation and x-rays are electromagnetic radiation (ie, photons) of very short wavelength that can penetrate deeply into tissue (many centimeters). While some photons deposit all their energy in the body, other photons of the same energy may only deposit a fraction of their energy and others may pass completely through the body without interacting.
Because of these characteristics, alpha and beta particles cause the most damage when the radioactive atoms that emit them are within the body (internal contamination) or, in the case of beta-emitters, directly on the body; only tissue in close proximity to the radionuclide is affected. Gamma rays and x-rays can cause damage distant from their source and are typically responsible for acute radiation syndromes (ARS—see Radiation Exposure and Contamination : Acute radiation syndromes (ARS)).
People are constantly exposed to low levels of naturally occurring radiation called background radiation. Background radiation comes from cosmic radiation and from radioactive elements in the air, water, and ground. Cosmic radiation is concentrated at the poles by the earth’s magnetic field and is attenuated by the atmosphere. Thus, exposure is greater for people living at high latitudes, at high altitudes, or both and during airplane flights. Terrestrial sources of external radiation exposure are primarily due to the presence of radioactive elements with half-lives comparable to the age of the earth (~4.5 billion years). In particular, uranium (238U) and thorium (232Th) along with several dozen of their radioactive progeny and a radioactive isotope of potassium (40K) are present in many rocks and minerals. Small quantities of these radionuclides are in the food, water, and air and thus contribute to internal exposure as these radionuclides are invariably incorporated into the body. The majority of the dose from internally incorporated radionuclides is from radioisotopes of carbon (14C) and potassium (40K), and because these and other elements (stable and radioactive forms) are constantly replenished in the body by ingestion and inhalation, there are approximately 7,000 atoms undergoing radioactive decay each second.
Internal exposure from the inhalation of radioactive isotopes of the noble gas radon (222Rn and 220Rn), which are also formed from the Uranium (238U) decay series, accounts for the largest portion (73%) of the US population's average per capita naturally occurring radiation dose. Cosmic radiation accounts for 11%, radioactive elements in the body for 9%, and external terrestrial radiation for 7%. In the US, people receive an average effective dose of about 3 millisieverts (mSv)/yr from natural sources (range ~0.5 to 20 mSv/yr). However, in some parts of the world, people receive > 50 mSv/yr. The doses from natural background radiation are far too low
Radiation exposure may involve
Radioactive contamination is the unintended contact with and retention of radioactive material, usually as a dust or liquid. Contamination may be
External contamination is that on skin or clothing, from which some can fall or be rubbed off, contaminating other people and objects. Internal contamination is unintended radioactive material within the body, which it may enter by ingestion, inhalation, or through breaks in the skin. Once in the body, radioactive material may be transported to various sites (eg, bone marrow), where it continues to emit radiation until it is removed or decays. Internal contamination is more difficult to remove. Although internal contamination with any radionuclide is possible, historically, most cases in which contamination posed a significant risk to the patient involved a relatively small number of radionuclides, such as phosphorus-32, cobalt-60, strontium-90, cesium-137, iodine-131, iodine-125, radium-226, uranium-235, uranium-238, plutonium-238, plutonium-239, polonium-210, and americium-241.
Irradiation is exposure to radiation but not radioactive material (ie, no contamination is involved). Radiation exposure can occur without the source of radiation (eg, radioactive material, x-ray machine) being in contact with the person. When the source of the radiation is removed or turned off, exposure ends. Irradiation can involve the whole body, which, if the dose is high enough, can result in systemic symptoms and radiation syndromes (see Radiation Exposure and Contamination : Acute radiation syndromes (ARS)), or a small part of the body (eg, from radiation therapy), which can result in local effects. People do not emit radiation (ie, become radioactive) following irradiation.
What is radiation?
Radiation is energy that travels as a wave or particle. Some types of radiation, called ionizing radiation, can be harmful. Radioactivity is ionizing radiation that is given off by substances, such as uranium, as they decay.
About half of the ionizing radiation we're exposed to comes from nature. It's in rock, soil, and the atmosphere. The other half comes from man-made sources like medical tests and treatments and nuclear power plants.
How much radiation is dangerous?
There is always a risk of damage to cells or tissue from being exposed to any amount of ionizing radiation. Over time, exposure to radiation may cause cancer and other health problems. But in most cases, the risk of getting cancer from being exposed to small amounts of radiation is small.
The chance of getting cancer varies from person to person. It depends on the source and amount of radiation exposure, the number of exposures over time, and your age at exposure. In general, the younger you are when you are exposed to radiation, the greater the risk of cancer.
Interesting results when mixing these three items, Mentos, Diet Coke and Uranium.
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Video shows the HORRIFYING deformities of babies born affected by DU (DEPLETED URANIUM) weapons.
Title 'BEYOND TREASON' didn't do this video justice, so it is changed to reflect the contents of this brief but moving expose'.
Grants, New Mexico is a little known town that had a huge impact on the 20th century. Much of the Cold War uranium was mined here and was used in nuclear weapons that helped win the Cold War and left the United States as one of the few military powers in the world. Now that nuclear energy is being explored, mining may return, but do people want it back again?
Blue Sky Uranium Corp. (BSK-TSX.V) is an exploration company led by management and technical teams with substantial experience in project finance and mineral exploration. Blue Sky is well positioned to leverage Management's extensive network of contacts to rapidly grow the Company into an industry leader. Blue Sky's objective is to become the premier uranium exploration company in Argentina by aggressively exploring its impressive land package that totals over 500,000 hectares.
The Company is dedicated to actively exploring the Patagonia region of Argentina for economic mineral deposits. Experienced management and technical members, who foster relationships with a vast amount of local, regional and international industry contacts, support the exploration team on their search for quality resource opportunities. Blue Sky's management group has over 15 years experience in exploring Argentina.
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Purepoint Uranium Group - TSX.V: PTU - News Alert - eResearch Buy Recommendation
BY ASHLEY CROCKETT
ANCHOR ANA COMPAIN-ROMERO
You're watching multisource environment video news analysis from Newsy.
Tourists flock to the Grand Canyon for its breathtaking views -- and now miners are flocking for its high-grade uranium. A two-year moratorium on mining enacted by the Obama administration in 2009 is set to expire in July -- sparking debate over whether the government should continue the ban, or let miners in.
Cronkite News reports this is a golden economic opportunity for uranium miners.
“There are more than 5,000 claims to mine around the Grand Canyon. Most of them, like Vein Minerals, are based outside of the U.S. And it’s no wonder the worldwide appeal. Uranium’s value has skyrocketed from around $11 per pound in 2003 to $63 now -- an increase of nearly 500 percent.”
But the economic benefits would only impact the mining companies -- and most of those profits wouldn’t end up in the US. Congress isn’t happy about the growing foreign ownership of uranium mining claims.
High Country News reports -- “Even though over $1 billion worth of hard rock minerals are plucked from, and hauled off, public lands every year, no company -- regardless of where it’s based -- pays state or federal royalties for hard rock mining, or any rental or user fees.”
Environmental groups are up in arms over the prospect of mining in an area prized for its biodiversity. Lynn Hamilton tells Public News Service runoff from existing uranium mines has already polluted several rivers, creeks and springs within the national park.
“It’s really alarming for people to feel like the areas that they’re visiting and recreating in, which they consider to be wilderness areas, are tainted in this way ... Many Native Americans have died from drinking tainted water or from using that water to sustain their livestock and crops when it’s contaminated.”
The Obama Administration has until July 22nd to decide whether or not to enact a new 20-year mining moratorium. Whatever the decision, The Christian Science Monitor reports it will impact more than just the area around the Grand Canyon.
“...the decision could set a precedent for other natural landmarks also being hedged in by uranium and other mining claims.”
According to the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory report, hardrock mining produces more toxic waste than any other industry.
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