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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 07 February, 2023

  • 5 Min Read

Caesium-137 - Aspire IAS

Caesium-137

  • A previously lost eight-millimeter capsule was recently found in Western Australia.
  • It contains radioactive Caesium-137 that was released after the nuclear tragedies at Chernobyl and Fukushima.

Important things about Caesium

  • Caesium is a silvery-white, soft, malleable metal that forms bonds with chlorides to produce a crystalline powder with no difficulty.
  • The only stable form of cesium that exists naturally in the environment is 133Cs (read as cesium one-thirty-three).
  • Two radioactive forms of cesium, 134Cs, and 137Cs, can be created by nuclear explosions or the uranium breakdown in fuel components. The decay of both isotopes produces non-radioactive elements.
  • The most prevalent radioactive type of caesium, caesium-137, emits beta and gamma radiation, both of which are dangerous to people.

Environmental and Health Concerns:

Health:

  • Caesium-137 can cause severe illness, including burns and acute radiation sickness, when it is touched.
  • Because Caesium-137 contains high-energy gamma radiation, exposure to it from the outside can raise one's risk of developing cancer. Long-term exposure may possibly be fatal.
  • It is possible for the radioactive material to be disseminated in the soft tissues, particularly muscle tissue, through internal exposure to it through ingesting or inhalation.

Environment:

  • Before sinking to the ground or water, cesium in the air can travel over great distances.
  • In water, most cesium compounds dissolve.
  • The majority of cesium compounds are extremely soluble, and cesium binds tightly to damp soils. Cesium does not penetrate the soil very deeply. It is a radioactive material and can make the soil, and water radioactive on dumping irresponsibly.

Read Also: Extended Reality (XR) Startup Program

Source: The Indian Express


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