A major environmental concern related to nuclear energy is the creation of radioactive waste such as tailings from uranium mills, spent (used) reactor fuel, and others. At high doses, ionizing radiation can cause immediate harm to a person's body, including, at very high doses, radiation sickness and death. At lower doses, ionizing radiation can cause health effects, such as cardiovascular disease and cataracts, as well as cancer. It causes cancer mainly because it damages DNA, which can cause genetic mutations that cause cancer.
Nuclear power plants have safety and security procedures in place and are closely monitored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). An accident at a nuclear power plant could release dangerous levels of radiation over an area (sometimes called a plume). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has a Safety Guide on Seismic Risks for Nuclear Power Plants, and the topic is covered on the WNA page on earthquakes and nuclear power plants. Spent nuclear fuel is used fuel from a nuclear reactor that is no longer efficient in creating electricity because its fission process has slowed down.
Research on nuclear fusion is progressing at a good pace and, perhaps in my life, I will have a solution that does not produce nuclear waste, in a totally safe way. The same technology used to make nuclear fuel for power plants can also be used to produce explosive material for nuclear weapons. The International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) was developed by the IAEA and the OECD in 1990 to communicate and standardize the reporting of nuclear incidents or accidents to the public. New generations of nuclear reactors, in particular what is called a pebble bed reactor, are designed so that the nuclear chain reaction cannot escape and cause a fusion, even in the event of total failure of the reactor machinery.
Based on the estimated total costs of managing nuclear waste, many countries require nuclear power plant operators to set aside funds to cover all costs. In a nuclear power plant, a specific type of radiation known as ionizing radiation, which is a form of energy capable of removing electrons from atoms, is emitted naturally from uranium and as part of the nuclear fission process. The safety aspects of nuclear plants highlighted by the Fukushima accident were evaluated in the nuclear reactors of EU member states, as well as in those of neighboring states that decided to participate. If you live near a nuclear power plant, you can obtain emergency information materials from the power company that operates your local nuclear power plant or from the local emergency services office.
All countries operating nuclear power plants have a nuclear safety inspection and all of them work closely with the IAEA. International cooperation on nuclear safety issues is carried out under the auspices of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), which was created in 1989.If fossil fuels are used to extract and refine uranium ore, or if fossil fuels are used in the construction of the nuclear power plant, then emissions from burning those fuels could be associated with the electricity generated by nuclear power plants. The risk of this happening at nuclear power plants in the united states is small due to the diverse and redundant safety systems and barriers that exist in nuclear power plants, the training and skills of reactor operators, test and maintenance activities, and regulatory requirements and oversight of the U.