The powerful earthquake which hit Japan on 11th March 2011 caused a tsunami which added to the destruction of millions of people’s homes and livelihoods.  A consequence of this terrible natural disaster was a man-made disaster - a nuclear power plant which supplies electricity to thousands of homes was damaged.

What is Radiation

There are different forms of radiation such as light and heat but the most dangerous is nuclear radiation which can affect the cells which make up all livings things.  Radiation has been linked to cancer and can cause significant problems to babies before they’re born and after birth.  There have been many cases of radiation leaks over the years, and although we know that radiation is harmful, it’s effects on humans and animals are difficult to measure.

Nuclear radiation occurs naturally throughout the world and universe, but it comes in many different forms (including man-made forms), some more poisonous than others.  All forms of nuclear radiation travel in invisible rays, some rays are weak and would not pass through a piece of paper, but other rays can pass through metal.  In the same way some rays can pass into our bodies, or be eaten or breathed in - but other rays are too big and cannot.  So, it is this invisible radiation which is causing worry, as it can spread miles and miles in the form of clouds, affecting other countries. The other problem is that there is little we can do to stop radiation from spreading and it can stay in the environment for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Read More: Alternative Energy

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