Society

The Most Radioactive Places in the World

Nuclear disasters and the testing of atomic bombs are both reasons why one area may be more radioactive than others.

Radioactivity is the loss of energy by unstable atoms. The process is often accelerated through human activities. One of the most common human activities that may trigger radioactivity is the test of nuclear weapons by several nations across the globe. Below is an outline of areas in the world where the level of radiation experienced is well above average.

9. Goias, Brazil

Perhaps the most bizarre entry on this list, this radioactive incident occurred in the year 1987 in the region of Goias, Brazil. The source of high radioactivity was traced to an object stolen by scrappers from an abandoned local hospital. The object, which emitted a unique blue light, aroused the curiosity of many who beheld it without knowing it was incredibly hazardous. Mere contact with the radioactive object led to immediate infection and the contamination spread like wildfire before the situation could be normalized.

8. Sellafield, United Kingdom

Sellafield is home to a plant that deals in plutonium atomic weapons in the form of bombs. The plant was laid in 1940. In the year 1957, the worst thing that could happen to a nuclear power plant occurred. A fire was triggered when an accident occurred within the plant which claimed lives and properties. The long term effects of the fire have been linked to cancer.

7. Hanford, United States

The Hanford Site refers to a nuclear complex that was operated in Washington State in the Pacific northwestern United States. The operation belonged to the federal government. The foundation of the power plant was laid in the year 1943. The main activities at the power plant were mainly centered on generation of nuclear power for the state machinery and weapons. Years later, the plant was decommissioned but nevertheless, the effects of radioactivity as we know persists even long after the activity have occurred.

6. Somalian Coast

The unlucky story behind radioactive activities in the country of Somalia is that the locals and the government at large had nothing to do with the existence of the radioactive materials in their country. Allegedly, the people responsible for the radioactive materials in Somalia were instead European companies hailing from both Switzerland and Italy. These nations took advantage of the instability in the country and dumped radioactive materials in the country’s coast. The effects of these materials to the health of the citizens are evident to date.

5. Denver, United States

The region of Denver in the USA has been proven to have high levels of radioactive activities when compared with other regions in the world. However, some of this has to do with altitude of the "mile high city". The high altitude of the area translates to fewer atmospheres which provide protection against the exposure to the rays of lights that carry radioactive energy. The region also has large deposits of uranium which further propagates radioactivity.

4. The Polygon, Kazakhstan

The Semipalatinsk Test Site, also called the Polygon, was an area that the USSR used to test nuclear weapons during the Cold War. 456 tests were conducted in total, and their effect is still palpable. The radiation emitted in the area is said to have had an adverse effect on as many as 200,000 people.

3. Mayak, Russia

Russia built a number of nuclear power plants in the region of Mayak during the cold war. A plant in the region suffered a Level 6 disaster on September 29, 1957 (to put this into perspective, Chernobyl is classified as a Level 7). The fatalities that resulted from the incident are still unknown to this day. Although radiation clean up was attempted, the area immediately surrounding the original disaster is still heavily contaminated.

2. Fukushima, Japan

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant of Fukushima, Japan, suffered a meltdown in March of 2011. It was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, and as a result, the area around the power plant has been mostly abandoned. Around 165,000 have been forced from their homes that existed within the exclusion zone built around the plant. Traces of the radiation fallout from the incident have been found across different corners of the globe since the incident.

1. Chernobyl, Ukraine

The effects of the horrendous Chernobyl disaster are still being felt throughout the country of Ukraine and beyond. On April 26, 1986 the world was forever changed when a nuclear power station suffered a partial meltdown in the small town of Pripyat. Large areas of Ukraine as well as its neighboring Belarus and Russia were immediately contaminated, although it was only a matter of time before radiation from the event reached areas the world over. Large amounts of radiation were released into the atmosphere at the time of the meltdown. Although there were only 56 deaths directly connected to the incident, it has been said that we do not yet know all over the effects that the disaster will have on human health.

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