The continents are built of granite. In fact, granite is the main in constituent rock of the Earth’s crust. The rock granite is formed of huge volumes of minerals grains. The earth continents are composed of numerous plates constant movement. The movement is due to many phenomenal changes like mountain formation and volcanic eruption. All these are encircled within the concept plate tectonic movement. Plate tectonic movement goes hand in hand with other concepts like continental drift theory and the magnetic field theory of the Earth. All these are unified under the theory of geology (Brookins, 2012).
Granites are igneous rocks that are composed of quartz and feldspar. They are one of the main constituent of the molten magma underneath the Earth’s surface. Volcanic eruptions and plate tectonic movements bring this molten magma to the Earth crust. The process of crystallization solidifies the molten magma into hard rock. Thus, granite is exposed to the surface of the Earth. Hence, Granite forms the main constituent rock of the continental plates (Brookins, 2012).
The South mountain range is a Canadian range, which covers a portion of the mainland of Nova Scotia. The South mountain range is also known as South Mountain Batholith, which is the largest store of granite barrens and granite uplands. The granite here present is associated with uranium vein-type deposits. The Millet Brook Deposit of South Mountain Batholith contain copper and silver. A measurement by gamma ray spectrometer reveals that the granite rocks contain a higher ratio of uranium and thorium content. This type of granite is called Hercynian granites having mineralized structures. Granites with these characteristics is called ‘specialized granite’.
Uranium has a wide variety and form of deposits. Among them vein type deposits are quite large amounts. It is the most widespread variety of uranium deposit. The origin of vein type uranium is mainly attributed to hydrothermal process. These types of granites are comparatively younger when measured chronologically. Hercynian granite is the combination of the process of uraniferous mineralization. Through the process of sedimentation, which was previously marine and late becomes continental, of sandstones and shales embedded in coal is followed by progressive peneplanation. The vein type deposits contain huge quantity of iron, magnesium, and carbon sedimentary series. Column like formation of dequartzified granite is porous by nature.
Uranium occurs in the form of fine-grained oxides related with pyrite that is associated with carbon rich horizons of sandstones and shales. Two types of uranium red front roll are:The uranium occurrences have been associated radon and uranium anomalies in soil and water.
The masonry materials like brick and concrete show high level of radioactivity compared to wood. Hence, wood must be used in huge quantity in building materials (Oy, 2012).
The governments all over the world are managing the waste disposal of nuclear waste materials in places with deep geologic placement in the short term and a very limited amount progress is done for long-term management, as the period for radioactive waste cannot be determined (Kautsky, Lindborg & Valentin, 2013). Two basic pre-requisite for radioactive waste management are
Geological formation is stable
Human institutions should be stable for hundreds and thousands of years.
A nuclear test revealed that a site might be left with radioactive contaminants in the soil. Laboratories equipped with technologies to perform radioactivity of a site, have found that ‘cancer-causing’ radioactive materials. They are given the responsibility to clean up such sites before construction starts. A gamma ray spectrometer test sometimes is used to test the radioactivity of the soil (Carter, 2015).
Management of nuclear waste is a perpetual crisis. Disposal of radioactive waste have several social stigma affecting human life. Inhabitants near the nuclear waste disposal site develop several physical and mental stresses. Often newborn babies are deformed and adults develop depression and mental stress. This indirectly have a negative impact on the local economy (Oy, 2012).
The government of the native country as well as the local governing body should take rigid steps before selecting a site for radioactive waste disposal. The place should be isolated from the main society and engineered well. The waste products are first sealed within containers and then the containers are placed underneath the earth’s surface (Krauskopf, 2013).
A gamma ray spectrometer test will help to compare the level of radioactivity of a place chosen for radioactive waste disposal. The distance of the surrounding locality from the waste is also considered while choosing a site. Radioactive waste has long term negative impact on the human life as well as on the society (Smith, et al., 2016).
The Canadian region is full of mountains and valleys. The mountains and the valleys are formed mainly of granite but have a trace of radioactive elements like uranium and thorium. This kind of granite is often referred to as the specialized granite. Disposing radioactive waste would increase the radioactivity of the sites making Canadian environment unsuitable for human life (Carter, 2015).
Brookins, D. G. (2012). Geochemical aspects of radioactive waste disposal. Springer Science & Business Media.
Carter, L. J. (2015). Nuclear imperatives and public trust: Dealing with radioactive waste. Routledge.
Kautsky, U., Lindborg, T., & Valentin, J. (2013). Humans and ecosystems over the coming millennia: Overview of a biosphere assessment of radioactive waste disposal in Sweden. Ambio, 42(4), 383-392.
Krauskopf, K. (2013). Radioactive waste disposal and geology (Vol. 1). Springer Science & Business Media.
Oy, P. (2012). Safety case for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel at Olkiluoto-Synthesis 2012 (No. POSIVA--12-12). Posiva Oy.
Smith, S. L., Boothman, C., Williams, H. A., Ellis, B. L., Wragg, J., West, J. M., & Lloyd, J. R. (2016). Microbial impacts on 99m Tc migration through sandstone under highly alkaline conditions relevant to radioactive waste disposal. Science of The Total Environment.
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