Nuclear Power Plant Isar, Germany

Spent nuclear fuel pool

Turbine of a nuclear plant

Radionuclide definition

A radioactive nuclide radionuclides or radionuclide is an unstable nuclide and thus degenerates emitting ionizing radiation. Although some physicists sometimes commonly used to designate the palabraradioisótopo however, it should be noted that strict or formal language of physics and nuclear technology is flawed as a nuclide and an isotope are not the same. When a radionuclide emits radiactividadalcanza a more stable state, which requires less energy than before, and generally becomes a different nuclide (or in the same, but less excited, if issued gamma radioactivity), which may or not was also radioactive. This radioactive process occurs spontaneously in principle, but man has learned to cause artificially. In either case the resulting radioactivity has exactly the same characteristics.

Radionuclides are characterized by a finite lifetime, which can range from tiny fractions of a second to thousands of years. In fact, some of them have such long half-life that has not yet been quantified experimentally and even some that were considered, and for some practical applications but is usually made stable. There currently known nuclides ninety theoretically stable and two hundred fifty-five those who were not observed disintegrate. Moreover, there are nearly twice, about six hundred fifty, which if they have been observed radioactivity and have a half life of at least one hour. On Earth some three thousand radionuclides than one hour, most of which are known half-life (about 90%) are anthropogenic (caused by humans), a 2400 lower one hour half life and still others so unstable that its half-life is very short.

Radionuclides apply to nuclear technology for electricity in industry (quality control, etc.), medicine (radiation, etc.) and nuclear weapons (primarily for the propulsion of vehicles and tools to kill) . Its use implies serious environmental risks (radioactive contamination) and health (radiotoxicity, radiation poisoning, etc.), so it must be done with extreme care. Recall that naturally occurring radionuclides such as uranium or plutonium exist in finite quantities on Earth, so you have to use them in a sustainable manner. Moreover, their use generates radioactive waste, which can be very dangerous and for which the only treatment is usually done is cover until its radioactivity is close to the natural. Possible treatments for those who take more than thirty years to do (all the spent fuel from nuclear power plants and for military purposes, for example) are still in the process of theory, research or experimentation.

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Last review: February 1, 2016