Radioactive contamination

4.1.3 National and global energy resources


  • Radioactive contamination is the unwanted presence of materials containing radioactive atoms on other materials. The hazard from contamination is due to the decay of the contaminating atoms. The type of radiation emitted affects the level of hazard.

Irradiation is the process of exposing an object to nuclear radiation. The irradiated object does not become radioactive.

Students should be able to compare the hazards associated with contamination and irradiation.

Suitable precautions must be taken to protect against any hazard that the radioactive source used in the process of irradiation may present.

Students should understand that it is important for the findings of studies into the effects of radiation on humans to be published and shared with other scientists so that the findings can be checked by peer review.

WS 1.5 -Evaluate risks both in practical science and the wider societal context, including perception of risk in relation to data and consequences.

WS 1.6 - Recognise the importance of peer review of results and of communicating results to a range of audiences.







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