Safety precautions for nuclear waste
Name: Donna Mozell
What safety precautions do people have to use when handling nuclear waste?
It depends on the type of nuclear waste that is being handled. Some
radioactive materials emit a radiation capable of penetrating the body (e.g.
x-rays, gamma rays, and strong beta rays) whereas others emit energy that is
not able to penetrate the skin (e.g. alpha and weak beta emitters). The waste
handler must be adequately shielded from the strong penetrating types of
radiation. The person must also guard against ingestion, inhalation and
absorption through the skin. I would not be surprised if radiation workers
are safer than people who work with "regular" garbage because both waste and
the precautions taken are safer in radiation work
Michael B Lomonaco
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Update: June 2012