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Asked by Sanjula | 11th Jun, 2009, 11:28: AM

Expert Answer:

5) Nuclear wastes consisists of radioactive waste which is usually the product of a nuclear process such as nuclear fission. Radioactive waste typically comprises a number of radioisotopes: unstable configurations of elements that decay, emitting ionizing radiation which can be harmful to human health and to the environment. Those isotopes emit different types and levels of radiation, which last for different periods of time.


Exposure to high levels of radioactive waste may cause serious harm or death. Treatment of an adult animal with radiation or some other mutation-causing effect, such as a cytotoxic anti-cancer drug, may cause cancer in the animal. In humans it has been calculated that a 5 sievert dose is usually fatal, and the lifetime risk of dying from radiation induced cancer from a single dose of 0.1 sieverts is 0.8%, increasing by the same amount for each additional 0.1 sievert increment of dosage. Ionizing radiation causes deletions in chromosomes.If a developing organism such as an unborn child is irradiated, it is possible a birth defect may be induced, but it is unlikely this defect will be in a gamete or a gamete forming cell.

Answered by  | 12th Jun, 2009, 02:43: AM

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