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Background radiation
This is around us all the time…read more

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Hazard symbol for radiation
Background sources
It is not just atomic bombs and nuclear power stations
that contribute to background radiation
Most of the radioactivity around us comes from
radioactive gas, rocks and soil and the least of it from
nuclear power
Nuclear power
Natural uranium (U number 92 on the periodic table) is
radioactive and is used as a fuel in power stations to
produce electricity
Hot uranium rods generate steam to produce electricity in
the same way as fossil fuels…read more

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The generator produces electricity by producing steam
which turns the turbine which turns the coil in a magnetic
Advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power
Advantages Disadvantages
Nuclear power costs the same Nuclear power is reliable but costs
as coal so it's not expensive to a lot of money which has to be
make spent on safety ­ if it does go
wrong, a nuclear accident can be a
major disaster
Does not produce smoke or Waste is very dangerous; it must
carbon dioxide, so…read more

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Disposing of nuclear waste
The waste is radioactive
Low-level radioactive waste is diluted in water as it goes
into the sea or is it sometimes dumped into landfill
High ­ level radioactive waste us harmful to living things
It should never by dumped at sea
Radioactive waste is stored in steel drums underground
Some sites are nearly 1 kilometre deep
High-level radioactive waste is encased in glass and buried
deep underground
Some radioactive waste can be reprocessed unto new and
useful radioactive material
Types of…read more

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All radiation can cause harm because of its ionising
An ion is a charged particle created when electrons are
lost or gained
There are three types of radiation:
A, B and C in Greek
Each has different properties, mainly their penetrating power
Alpha particles have the most ionising effect and
therefore can do the most damage to living cells
Beta has a less ionising effect and gamma rays the least
(although are still very dangerous)
Uses of radiation
Radiation can be…read more

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Beta particles are used as traces e.g. medical diagnosis
and pipe leakage as thickness gauges e.g.…read more


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