ASSESSMENT OF OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE AND RADIATION PROTECTION IN SOME SELECTED WELL-LOGGING AND INDUSTRIAL RADIOGRAPHY FACILITIES IN NIGERIA

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ASSESSMENT OF OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE AND RADIATION PROTECTION IN SOME SELECTED WELL-LOGGING AND INDUSTRIAL RADIOGRAPHY FACILITIES IN NIGERIA

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1  Background to the Study

Nigeria has, for a very longtime, engaged in the peaceful application of nuclear technology. The use of ionizing radiation, because of its unique properties, has considerably increased over the years in oil and gas industry.

Due to the adverse health effect when people are over-exposed to ionizing radiation, radiation is feared by many, worldwide, and Nigerians are no exception. This concern is even much higher with inhabitants living at close proximity to nuclear establishments and other facilities using ionizing radiation sources. What most people do not realize is that radiation is present everywhere, in everything in the environment and even in the bodies (Oyeyinka et al, 2012). There is cosmic radiation made up of protons, alpha particles and heavy nuclei bombarding the earth from space which, upon interaction with the atmosphere results into large assortment of secondary particles, including pie (π) and mu (µ) mesons, electromagnetic photons, neutrons, protons and electrons contributing high radiation dose burden to man even at sea level (Maduemezia et al, 2008).

Other natural radiation includes the terrestrial gamma rays from land, sea and walls of houses we live. Humans are also internally exposed from radiation emitted by radionuclides absorbed into the body through the consumed food (Oyeyinka et al, 2012). Examples of such radionuclides are potassium-40, heavy elements and carbon-14. Therefore, living isolated from radiation is almost impossible in the modern world as humans and animals are subjected to both natural and artificial radiation in the environment, due to increase in living standard (Zakari et al, 2009). There is no need for fear of radiation but there is the need to understand its properties, make use of it and reduce the exposure to dose levels which the society judged as acceptable, with minimum associated risk. As long as the contribution from the artificial radionuclides does not push the annual dose equivalent level beyond 1mSv for the public and 20mSv averaged over five years for classified workers, then there is no need to fear radiation (NNRA, 2003).

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ASSESSMENT OF OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE AND RADIATION PROTECTION IN SOME SELECTED WELL-LOGGING AND INDUSTRIAL RADIOGRAPHY FACILITIES IN NIGERIA