A scientific Perspective on Mazeltov Leakage
The Role of the Expert in the Appointed Commission
What the Department of Defense should Do
Possible Objections on the Expert Recommendations
This paper presents a report of the science and technology committee report writtento the mayor about nuclear radiation leakage from the Mazeltov submarine. The submarine was located at the 32nd street on the Navy Pier in San Diego. The leakage resulted in unknown amounts of plutonium-239m in the air, causing contamination. Radioactive dust from the incidence is believed to have caused abrupt death to ten sailors and a civilian in a ship within the harbor. The incidence reportedly occurred at the harbor on Thanksgiving Day at around 6 PM as those on board were on holiday dinner. Reports from the Environmental Protection Agency indicate that the bay was contaminated as a result of the radiation. The defense department, responsible for the leakage chose to be silent even after eleven people died from the accident.
Every profession has a set of ethical values and principles meant to guide the conduct of professionals in that field. The ethical values consist of rules and obligations that spell out what is right and wrong for the professionals. The values differ from one profession to another depending on the practice. They are meant to ensure responsible practice. A departure from the prescribed line can call for disciplinary action from the professionals’ board (Time Vendor LLC, 67). The code helps protect society, environment and people seeking professional service from dangers of malpractice.
The Mazeltov leakage is one of the cases where professional malpractice has lead to massive loss of life, environmental degradation and loss of property. The ethical values prohibit professional malpractices such as negligence, corruption or extortions.
Usually, three deadly radioactive substances are associated with nuclear reactions. They are plutonium, uranium and tritium. Production and handling of these substances should be done with utmost care to avoid deadly accidents that may occur when the substances explode. Reactors used in nuclear powered submarines have equal potentials when they explode accidentally. Such submarines are used purely by the ministry of defense for defense missions in the sea. Explosions from these vessels can cause detrimental effects to the lives of people in ports, sailors, marine life and cause contamination to water and air. These effects have been reported to cause massive loss of life both human and marine, as well as gene mutations.
The accident at the port resulted in plutonium leakage that caused the death of eleven people, ten of them sailors and a civilian. The element is used for making nuclear weapons and can be kept for a long time; plutonium can also be recycled for use in other nuclear weapons. The recycling process is purely the mandate of the ministry of defense and must be handled with proper care. Several accidents that have occurred from nuclear submarines result from careless handling of nuclear reactors. …..points out a case of the 1957 accident at the windscale, which resulted from the regular release of unused energy from the reactors. The process resulted in a fierce fire that took a lot of time and effort to put off.
Serious contamination resulted from the explosion leading to government ban on milk within an area of 500 square kilometers estimates that as much as 100 people have died from cancer related ailments resulting from radiations of the incidence. Cases of local authorities and defense department keeping silent or maintaining secret the effect of radiation accidents have been common in all accidents reported so far. It is important that concerned parties take up responsibility and inform the public about what has occurred and take appropriate precautionary measures to reduce the effect of the radiation. Plutonium is manufactured mainly for use in military weapons. Grade Pu239 is used purely for weapon manufacture; other low grade plutonium is used for generation of electricity. Accident chances increase as reactors grow old, it’s important to make regular checks on reactor parts and to replace older ones.
Use of substandard reactor parts has partly been responsible for some accidents resulting from nuclear reactions. A nuclear reaction accident that was averted at the eleventh minute at the Sellafield nuclear power station was as a result of using substandard parts in the magnox reactors. The report by a health inquiry team at the plant following a series of incidences revealed that most parts of the reactors were substandard and the ventilation system was defective. ……suggests that only the best parts should be used in chemical industries, to ensure maximum safety. Apart from leakages that produce dangerous fumes, nuclear accidents can also result in fierce fires that are hard to put off. It is important to note that some nuclear accidents can result from weather elements and well as natural disasters such as seismic events.
Separation process for americanium from plutonium has also been reported to be a case of concern to health and environment. Americanium is a by-product, normally discarded where as plutonium is used for making weapons. People employed to work in such places should be of steady mind and well trained to understand how to handle the chemicals. Main submarine accidents related to nuclear reactions are caused by collisions. Submarines’ areas of operations are mainly in places where oil tankers frequent. Collisions with such tankers can easily cause deadly accidents. The same thing may occur when a submarine crosses a ferry path. There are reports also about submarine collisions with fishing or patrol boats, in case of such collisions; the incident can put the lives of fishermen and aquatic animals at risk.
There are other accidents that have been reported involving submarines and ships. These accidents result in greater damage to the ship, and are more likely to cause reactor accidents. Incase such a ship is carrying flammable substances, fierce fires can easily result from the incident. NATO and USSR submarines are reported to have been involved in collisions emanating from the nature of submarine operations. The sonar sometimes fails to interpret and locate presence of other vessels, leading to accidents. There are also submarine accidents that occur at the harbor, when the submarine is berthing. The clyde location has especially been synonymous with this type of collisions, leading to massive loss of life and property.
The expert will use skills and knowledge about nuclear radiation to advice the mayor accordingly about the tragedy. With the experience of practical application of the discoveries made by a scientist in the field of nuclear radiation, the expert will relate concepts that led to Mazeltov radiation and give technical advice to the mayor. An expert examines the case and makes comparison to other similar cases that have occurred elsewhere to be able to formulate useful facts about the radiation (Clowney and Mosto, 28).
I will share the information gathered from the study of the radiation case with the public. The public needs to be aware of what exactly caused the radiation that eventually led to the death of eleven people at the bay. A lot of information that is in the public domain regarding the incident is based on speculations which do not necessarily carry the picture of the real about the incident. Apart the public, the data and information from the study are useful for future studies on similar tragedies by researchers (Clowney and Mosto, 29). I will circulate and store the information in a manner that it can be accessed by those who require it.
It is rather unfortunate that the department of defense chose to remain silent about an issue of great concern on public health caused by negligence on the side of some of its staff. The environmental protection agency report indicated that the radiation incident caused contamination on the bay. This was further confirmed by the death of ten sailors and a civilian. Continued silence on this matter with no action being taken will lead to further problems emanating the tragedy. The defense department should own up and state the mitigation strategies that are underway to reduce the consequences of the radiation.
The defense department should write a detailed report of the incidence and inform the public to be aware of the case. The defense department should organize and carry out an evaluation of the accident and its effects to the environment as well as the people living within the location. The defense should advise members of the public on proper precautionary measures to observe during the active radiation period. Such precautionary measures as outlined by Pinkus include: "staying in-house, protecting the lungs, use of iodine prophylaxis and relocation” (231). The government should then inform the public about the mitigation measures being undertaken to manage the situation and how long that would take. State authorized personalities should come forth to clarify the myth that is in the public domain about the incident.
A state agency should take responsible reports from the accident and periodically relay them to the public throughout the process of handling the accident. The foreign missions in other nations should be informed about the incident as well as neighboring countries. This is important as they can also be involved in identifying solutions to the problem as it may also affect them.
My mission to relay my research findings to the public is likely to meet resistance from state functions. The state would be more comfortable with research findings from an organization that is linked to it so that the findings can be manipulated to hide the true picture. In order to rise above this hurdle, I will seek support from international organizations and work under them to relay true information about the accident to the public.
Nuclear energy is rapidly gaining popularity among states as the campaign against greenhouse emissions intensifies. The energy is being embraced as an alternative source of energy. There are enormous challenges that are linked to the use of nuclear energy that require proper care to avoid the harmful challenges. It is important to have a proper code of conduct that governs practice in the nuclear energy sector. The code should spell out working ethics in handling and disposal of radioactive substances. There is a need for close supervision of nuclear energy plants by experts to ensure that all laid down procedures with regard to handling of radiation equipments are strictly adhered to.
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