FAQ

Does the nuclear industry release radioactivity into the environment that has an impact on human health?

Answer

The amount of radioactivity released by the nuclear industry into the environment is less than 1% of the total amount of radioactivity from natural sources (0.01 to 0.02mSv for a total average annual natural background rate of 2.4mSv). Strict international standards/regulations are applied and controlled.

Background

The amount of radioactivity released by the nuclear industry into the environment is less than 1% of the total amount of radioactivity from natural sources (0.01 to 0.02mSv for a total average annual natural background rate of 2.4mSv). Strict international standards/regulations ensure that the nuclear industry’s radioactive discharges are kept at such low levels that there is no harmful effect on the health of workers, the general public or on the environment. The following maximum exposures have been set in the International Radiation Protection Norms: 20mSv/yr averaged over 5 years, 1mSv/yr and /person for the rest of the population. The respect of these values is controlled by the regulatory authority of each country. Nuclear power plants emit virtually no greenhouse gases.
 
The following diagram indicates the percentage of public exposures:
 
FAQ4_public_exposures.jpg
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