Tell us about the consequences of radiation accidents. What specific properties do radioactive substances have?

Tell us about the consequences of radiation accidents. What specific properties do radioactive substances have? What are the types of radiation exposure to people and animals in accidents at nuclear power plants. Describe the possible effects of exposure to people.

Accidents at radiation hazardous facilities are characterized by the release of radioactive products into the environment. This leads to radiation pollution of air, water, soil and, consequently, to irradiation of the facility personnel, and in some cases the population. Radioactive substances can be released into the atmosphere in the form of tiny dust particles and aerosols, and liquid spills can occur, leading to radioactive contamination of the area and water bodies.
Radioactive substances have the following specific properties: • they have no smell, color, taste or other external signs, therefore only devices can indicate their presence, as well as the infection of people, animals, terrain, water, household items, vehicles, products nutrition;
• they can cause damage not only in direct contact with them, but also at a distance of several hundred meters from the source of pollution;
• their damaging properties cannot be eliminated chemically or in any other way, since they are determined by the half-life of the radioactive substance.
Half-life is the time during which half of all atoms of a radioactive substance decay. The half-life of various radioactive elements varies over a wide time range.
As a result of the accidental release of radioactive substances into the atmosphere, the following types of radiation exposure to humans and animals are possible:
• external exposure during the passage of a radioactive cloud;
• external exposure due to radioactive contamination of the surface of the earth, buildings, structures and other objects;
• internal exposure by inhalation of radioactive aerosols and fission products (inhalation hazard);
• internal exposure as a result of eating contaminated food and water;
• contact exposure when radioactive substances get on the skin and clothing.
The following consequences are possible with radiation exposure of people:
• somatic, which affect the very irradiated, and not its offspring. They are expressed in acute radiation sickness, chronic radiation sickness, as well as in local radiation injuries (radiation burns, cataracts of the eyes, damage to germ cells);
• somatic-stochastic, which are difficult to detect, since they are insignificant and have a long latent period, measured tens of years after irradiation. They are manifested in a reduction in life expectancy, malignant changes in blood-forming cells, tumors of various organs and cells;
• genetic, leading to congenital malformations resulting from mutations, changes in hereditary properties and other disorders in the reproductive cells of irradiated people.

Remember: The process of learning a person lasts a lifetime. The value of the same knowledge for different people may be different, it is determined by their individual characteristics and needs. Therefore, knowledge is always needed at any age and position.