Nuclear accident

Accidents in nuclear facilities can happen as results of equipment failures or human errors. They can also be caused by external influences like earthquakes, floods, extreme meteorological conditions or terrorist attacks. In case of an accident, radioactive material could be released from a nuclear facility into the environment.

Radioactivity can be released into the atmosphere, surface waters or to the ground, that is, ground waters. The experience so far has pointed out that special attention should be paid to the accidents with major releases of radioactivity and thermal energy into the atmosphere.

If a release into the atmosphere occured, a so-called radioactive cloud would be formed. It would then start to disperse under the influence of complex atmospheric processes. A population affected by the radioactive cloud would first be exposed to the effects of direct radiation from the cloud and inhalation of radioactive particles and gasses contained in the cloud. In a later phase, after the deposition of the particles takes place, the prevailing ways of exposure would consist of direct radiation from the deposited radioactive material, inhalation of the radioactive dust and ingestion of the contaminated food and water.




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