Among all the environmental disasters that might be caused by humans, nuclear disasters have the greatest potential of causing severe damage to life property. The released as a consequence of nuclear disaster cause acute and chronic effects in the surrounding environment together with chronic risks over a wide range of geographic area. Much of the concerns center around nuclear reactors, transportation of nuclear wastes and temporary storage of spent radioactive fuel at nuclear power plants.
The radioactive materials of particular concern are strontium-90, cesium-137 as both have half life of thirty-plus years and iodine-131, having a short half-life of eight days but known to cause thyroid cancer. Cesium-137 is highly radioactive and is sometimes mistaken for potassium by living organisms. This is passed on up the food chain and bioaccumulate by that process. Similarly, strontium-90 exhibits the properties of calcium and gets deposited in the bones to cause or damage to the bone marrow cells.
1. Accident due to careless handling or transportation of radioactive materials.
2. Breakdown and crash of orbital satellites with nuclear inventory.
3. Exposure to radioactive substances due to terrorism.
4. Improper storage of nuclear material.
5. Accidents in nuclear power plants due to natural hazards like earthquakes or plane crash.
6. Accidents in nuclear power plants and nuclear reconditioning plants for nuclear fuel assembly.
Disasters in nuclear power plants caused by military operations.
By dangerous nuclear weapons.
1. Contamination of food and drinking water.
2. Contamination of the land, particularly densely populated and agricultural regions.
3. Death of large part of population and post radiation effects.
4. Devastation of infrastructure.