Nuclear Energy. Radiation. What is a Radioactive Element?. Radioactive elements have a nucleus that is unstable. It decays or breaks apart releasing energy in the process. Half-Life is the amount of time it takes for 1/2 of a group of nuclei to decay.
example: 14C half-life is 5730 years
ex: Ca ingested by the body whether radioactive or not is sent to the bones.
radius of a properly
working nuclear plant 0.02 mr/year
*Reference: Nuclear Power Quick Reference II, IEEE.
All of these help to determine the effect of the exposure.
How many rems are safe?
1. What level of risk do we consider acceptable?
2. At what point do the benefits of x-rays, nuclear power and other uses outweigh the risks?