One of the most controversial issues that surround the Yucca Mountain project is the impact it will have on the surrounding environment and people. Many who are opposed to the repository site are understandably worried since just a little amount of radiation can devastate natural habitats, contaminate groundwater, and lower the quality of air. However, to understand the damages that radiation can cause onefirst must understand what exactly is radiation. Radiation is basically energy that is transmitted in the forms of waves or particles (Zumdahl 982). There are many types of radiation such as ultraviolet rays from the sun, microwaves, and radio waves. The most harmful type of radiation is gamma rays. Gamma radiation is in the form of high-energy waves and is often found in the radioactive wastes that will be stored at the repository. For humans, this type of radiation is harmful either in low or high dosages.These rays can cause birth defects in newborns and increase the chances of cancer. "A person who stands one yard away from an unshielded spent nuclear fuel assembly could receive a lethal dose of radiation in less than three minutes" (Transportation). Although the casks, the containers that hold the radioactive waste, protect humans from the harmful gamma rays, it does not completely block out the radiation. "Federal regulations allow a low level of radiation to emanate from the casks" (Transportation). Not harmful under normal conditions, the low levels of radiation coming from the casks could still cause people to have constant health difficulties due to repeated and long-term exposure.
In terms of the environment, opponents of the project are worried that the radiation emitting from the repository could contaminate the groundwater, deplete the ozone and cause the destruction of natural habitats and their wildlife. However many of the researchers and scientists who performe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


I'm Harold

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out