P3 Radioactive materials
P3 Radioactive materials
This website provides descriptions of the three video programmes that are used in the scheme of work for this module: Radioactivity and health, Power production, and Radioactive Waste. The animations from each programme are included, along with additional data and related links. There are also concise and useful notes on hazards, risk assessment, and risk control.
The Uranium Information Centre, in Australia, provides background information on the use of americium-241 in smoke detectors.
The Science Enhancement Programme (SEP) student and teacher resources Radiation in the environment could be used for additional activities or case study work on background radiation.
Radiological protection is part of the work of the UK’s Health Protection Agency.
Its website has much useful information on radiation topics such as radon and medical applications. It also provides information on their many publications for the public.
The UK’s Food Standards Agency and the Food Commission both provide public information about irradiated food.
Communicating risk in a soundbite is a guide for scientists, doctors, and engineers preparing for a broadcast interview. It is intended for use in situations where risks are perceived to be much higher than they actually are. It is not intended to help cover up significant risks or threats to public health.
The Uranium Information Centre, in Australia, provides detailed information on the current use of radioisotopes in medicine.
Energy - Its impact on the environment and society 2005 is a booklet, published by the government. It discusses the challenges which energy policy faces and then focuses on the social and environmental effects of energy production and use in the United Kingdom.
The Department of Trade and Industry Energy Group’s web site provides up-to-date statistics on electricity generation in the UK .
The Government white paper Our energy future, published in 2003.
Three sources of background information on wind power.
Ofgem is the regulator for Britain;s gas and electricity industries. Its website contains useful fact sheets (from the Press Office).
A report from the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on Renewable Energy: Practicalities (2004).
A 2005 study from a research group at Oxford University showed that more than 40% of electricity demand could be met from renewable sources. Just three types of renewables are needed: solar, wind, and d-CHP (domestic boilers that produce electricity as well as hot water).
This website provides useful background information on the use of solar power, and it includes an animation of the use of a solar roof.
Two organizations that campaign for wind power and against nuclear power are Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.
International organizations concerned with energy policy include The International Energy Agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the manufacturers’ lobby the World Nuclear Association.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority was set up in April 2005 to take strategic responsibility for the UK’s nuclear legacy. Its main task is the decommissioning and clean-up of civil nuclear sites.
COMCARE acts as a source of independent advice on effects of natural and artificial radiation in the environment
The Medicyclopaedia at Amersham Health contains a wealth of information about medical procedures, particularly those using radioisotopes. For example, try looking up ‘nuclear imaging’ and ‘metabolic radionuclide therapy’.
This website is aimed at school students. In a section called ‘Dealing with waste’, you are invited to take part in a debate about nuclear waste disposal.
Controversy: Labour politician Michael Meacher says nuclear power could prove deadly (Feb 2006) while scientist James Lovelock says nuclear power is the only green solution (May 2005). Early in 2006 the public had mixed feelings.