mid-14c., "discharge of semen other than during sex," later, "desecration, defilement" (late 14c.), from Late Latin pollutionem (nominative pollutio ) "defilement," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin polluere "to soil, defile, contaminate," from por- "before" + -luere "smear," from PIE root *leu- "dirt; make dirty" (cf. Latin lutum "mud, mire, clay," lues "filth;" Greek lyma "filth, dirt, disgrace," lymax "rubbish, refuse;" Old Irish loth "mud, dirt;" Lithuanian lutynas "pool, puddle"). Sense of "contamination of the environment" first recorded , but not common until .
The operation of a nuclear power plant releases large amounts of energy. This energy is used in large turbines, which produce electricity. Both the fuel elements and coolants contribute to radiation pollution. Wastes from atomic reactors also contain radioactive materials. The biggest problem is the disposal of these radioactive wastes. If these wastes are not properly disposed off, can harm the living organisms wherever they may be dumped. Inert gases and halogens escape as vapours and cause pollution as they settle on land or reach surface waters with rain.