Nuclear Energy pp 395-410 | Cite as

Applications of Radioisotopes

  • Robert Bruce Hayes
Reference work entry
Part of the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology Series book series (ESSTS)


Background radiation

The radiation given off by natural radioisotopes and cosmic sources.

Detection limits

The smallest amount of radiation which can be discriminated from background radiation.

Dirty bomb

A conventional chemical bomb laced with radioactivity intended to cause mass panic and commercial havoc.


The result of adding or removing charge from a neutral atom.


Improvised nuclear device, an attempt at a nuclear weapon generally assumed to be made by a terrorist organization.


An element may have different numbers of neutrons in a given atom, but the element is defined by the number of protons in the nucleus. The different isotopes of an element will all have the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons.


Naturally occurring radioactive material, radioisotopes.


The center of an atom containing all the neutrons and protons which constitute the overwhelming majority of the atom’s mass.


A commonly used term synonymous...


  1. 1.
    IAEA (1963) Radioisotope applications in industry; a survey of radioisotope applications classified by industry or economic activity, with selected references to the international literature. International Atomic Energy Agency, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bowen HJM (1969) Chemical applications of radioisotopes. Methuen, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    IAEA (1963) Symposium on the application of radioisotopes in hydrology. International Atomic Energy Agency, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    IAEA (1963) Symposium on the use and application of radioisotopes and radiation in the control of plant and animal insect pests. International Atomic Energy Agency, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    IAEA (1968) Panel on the application of radioisotopes in the pulp and paper industry. International Atomic Energy Agency, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wasserburg GJ, Busso M, Gallino R, Nollett KM (2006) Short-lived nuclei in the early solar system: possible AGB sources. Nucl Phys A 777:5–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Van Schmus WR (1995) Chapter 17: Natural radioactivity of the crust and mantle. In: Global earth physics. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Nakanishi T, Kusakabe M, Aono T, Yamada M (2009) Simultaneous measurements of cosmogenic radionuclides 32P, 33P and 7Be in dissolved and particulate forms in the upper ocean. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 278(3):769–776CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Taricco C, Bhandari N, Colombetti P, Verma N, Vivaldo G (2007) Experimental set-up and optimization of a gamma-ray spectrometer for measurement of cosmogenic radionuclides in meteorites. Nucl Instr Meth Phys Res A 572(1):241–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Aldehan A, Hedfors J, Possnert G, Kulan A, Berggren A-M, Soderstrom C (2008) Atmospheric impact on beryllium isotopes as a solar activity proxy. Geophys Res Lett 35:L21812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    CDC (2005) Radioactive fallout from global weapons testing. US Centers for Disease Control, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Parsons PA (2002) Radiation hormesis: challenging LNT theory via ecological and evolutionary considerations. Health Phys 82(4):513–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Bhandari N, Bhattacharya SK, Somayajulu BLK (1978) Cosmogenic radioisotopes in the Dhajala chondrite: implications to variation in cosmic ray fluxes in the interplanetary space. Earth Planet Sci Lett 40:194–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Phillips FM, Zreda MG, Smith SS, Elmore D, Kubik PW, Dorn RI, Roddy DJ (1991) Age and geomorphic history of Meteor Crater, Arizona from cosmogenic 36Cl and 14C in rock varnish. Geochem Cosmochem Acta 55:2695–2698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Giffin D, Corbett DR (2003) Evaluation of sediment dynamics in coastal systems via short-lived radioisotopes. J Mar Sys 42:83–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hedges REM (1979) Radioisotope clocks in archaeology. Nature 281:19–24. doi:10.1038/281019a0CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    McKeever SWS (1985) Thermoluminescence of solids. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    McKeever SWS (2001) Optically stimulated luminescence dosimetry. Nucl Instr Meth B 184:29–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Regulla DF (2005) ESR spectrometry: a future-oriented tool for dosimetry and dating. Appl Radiat Isot 62(2):117–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Yukihara EG, McKeever SWS (2011) Optically stimulated luminescence: fundamentals and applications. Wiley, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Haskell EH, Difley R, Kenner G, Hayes R, Snyder K, Gustafson D (1999) A comparison of optical stimulated luminescence dating methods applied to eolian sands from the Mohave Desert in Southern Nevada. Quat Geochronol 18:235–242Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Peplow DE (1999) Fiestaware™ radiography. Phys Teach 37(5):316–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kamal K (2016) The best aircraft for close air support in the twenty-first century. Air Space Power J 30(3):39–53Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Toepker T (1996) Thorium and yttrium in gas lantern mantles. Am J Phys 64:109. Scholar
  25. 25.
    Schirmer A, Kersting M, Uschmann K (2016) Occupational doses from the use of thoriated optical components. Health Phys 111(2):106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Crim EM, Bradley TD (1995) Measurements of air concentrations of thorium during grinding and welding. Health Phys 68(5):719–722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sharpe WD (1978) The New Jersey radium dial painters: a classic in occupational carcinogenesis. Bull Hist Med 52(4):560–570Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Garrison WM, Maloney JL (2005) Lanthanum additions and the toughness of ultra-high strength steels and the determination of appropriate lanthanum additions. Mater Sci Eng A 403(1):299–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Zou H, Song M, Yi F, Bian L, Liu P, Zhang S (2016) Simulated-sunlight-activated photocatalysis of Methyl Orange using carbon and lanthanum co-doped Bi2O3–TiO2 composite. J Alloys Compd 680:54–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Farkas J, Mohacsi-Farkas C (2011) History and future of food irradiation. Food Sci Technol 22:121–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Wang Q, Fu S, Yu T (1994) Emulsion polymerization. Prog Polym Sci 19:703–753CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Witkowska E, Szczepaniak K, Biziuk M (2005) Some applications of neutron activation analysis: a review. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 265(1):141–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Strobl M, Manke I, Kardjilov N, Hilger A, Dawson M, Banhart J (2009) Advances in neutron radiography and tomography. J Phys D Appl Phys 42(12):1–21Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Fast LD (2012) Developments in the prevention of transfusion-associated graft-versus-host-disease. Br J Heamatol 158(5):563–568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Parsonnet V, Driller J, Cook D, Rizvi SA (2006) Thirty-one years of clinical experience with “nuclear-powered” pacemakers. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 29:195–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    O’Brien RC, Amrosi RM, Bannister NP, Howe SD, Atkinson HV (2008) Safe radioisotope thermoelectric generators and heat sources for space applications. J Nucl Mater 377(3):506–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nuclear EngineeringNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

Personalised recommendations