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Applications of Nuclear Technology

Applications of Nuclear Technology

In addition to producing electricity, nuclear technology has a variety of other beneficial applications. Agriculture, medicine, space exploration, and water desalination are among them.

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  • Agriculture: Farmers use radiation to control harmful insects without resorting to harmful chemicals. For instance, under the SAMPADA initiative by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, subsidies are granting for gamma radiation processing plants. These plants help in treating food products with gamma radiation to eliminate pests and extend shelf life.
  • Food Safety: Irradiation is a method that helps in keeping our food safe by killing bacteria and other harmful organisms. It doesn’t make the food radioactive or affect its nutritional value significantly. This technology is particularly important for raw and frozen foods where traditional methods might not be as effective in ensuring safety.
  • Medical Advancements: Nuclear technology plays a crucial role in diagnosing and treating diseases. Doctors can use nuclear imaging techniques to get detailed insights into the human body, aiding in accurate diagnoses. Additionally, advancements in nuclear research have led to precise treatments for conditions. For instance cancer, where radiation therapy can target tumors while minimizing damage to healthy tissues.
  • Space Exploration: Nuclear technology enables long-term space missions by providing reliable power sources. Unmanned spacecraft utilize the heat generated from plutonium to produce electricity, allowing them to operate autonomously for years. An excellent example is Voyager 1, launched in 1977, which continues to transmit valuable data as it ventures deep into space.
  • Water Desalination: Desalination, the process of converting saltwater into freshwater, is energy-intensive. Nuclear energy facilities offer a sustainable solution by providing the significant energy needed for desalination plants. This ensures a stable supply of fresh drinking water, crucial for areas facing water scarcity issues.

Read Also: Desalination Plant in Lakshadweep

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