Humans and Nature: Treatment of Pollution with Technology
Humans are unable to live independent of nature. Human beings are forced to live by Mother Nature's rules. By destroying nature we are only destroying ourselves. But pollution does just that: it severely damages our natural environment, sometimes beyond recovery. The treatment of pollution is a complex science that has evolved greatly in the 20th century mostly due to the industrial environment we live in today. From the basic classification of today's pollution to developing a supplement to our ever so damaging fossil fuel, advances in technology have helped the human race protect the natural environment around us.
Humans today create a wide range of pollution from basic trash to radio active petroleum. One of the first steps in implementing a plan to deal with pollution is to classify the wastes that are being dealt with. The primary purpose of a classification system is to facilitate understanding and simplify management of the multiple elements of a diverse system. A tension exists between two of the objectives of such a system: to simplify and have the least number of classes, and to include all the diverse categories to properly manage such a classification system.1
Since the nuclear age, focus on nuclear problems have centered more on the activities that generate nuclear waste than on the characteristics of the waste generated or on the disposal of those nuclear wastes. Often one would hear of the nuclear waste caused by a power plant, but never about the details of what type or even to what degree.2 The US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) classified wastes based primarily on operational and handling concerns. The first legal distinction between different radioactive wastes was high level waste and "other than high level" wastes. The classification system in the United States has evolved since these early years.3
It is ironic how humans treat pollution to protect the environment, yet we are the one's who created the pollution. The question is raised whether or not if we'd care about pollution if we weren't so dependent upon nature.
Radiation protection standards are developed to protect the public health. Operators of waste development sites are responsible for the proper disposal of waste. This entails the operator to anticipate the performance of their facilities, and to construct waste-acceptance criteria based on the capabilities, susceptibilities, and capacities of their facilities. The assessments cover intruder, migration, and accident scenarios that yield concentration limits, facility limits, and package limits.4
Although the most severe pollution problems have arouse due to technology and industry, the same forces have developed advanced methods for dealing with these problems. One system that came about as our society advanced was the sewer systems. Sewer systems work as a filtering process. Human beings consume billions of gallons of clean water...