(Did you know that nuclear energy is used in archaeology, in testing nappy efficiency or baby powder, in measuring climate change?)
During our whole life, we are exposed to natural radiations and we benefit, often unknowingly, from the many ingenious applications of radioisotopes, radioactivity and radiations: in food and agriculture, in detection and control of water supply, in medical science, in industry, in sciences and in many other applications. Control of the radioactivity sources should be very stringent.
Safe use of nuclear radiation and disposal of radioactive waste should be of concern to all countries in the world regardless of their own nuclear technological development because:
- benefits of nuclear technology are dependent on an understanding of the risks involved;
- countries may be vulnerable to hazards associated with illicit trading in, or disposal of radioactive materials-whether
or not they are directly responsible for it;
- accidents involving radioactive fallout may affect countries far from the source of the contamination.
Fatal accidents involving large scale radiation contamination have occurred but there are also minor incidents, some of which cause injury or environmental contamination. Medical care may be required not only in the short term but for years and environmental clean-up operations may be extremely costly.
Legislation, monitoring and preventive control are preferable to overcoming the effects of an accident due to lack of control.