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Fundamentals of Radiation

The process of emission of


radiation or particles

Atomic Model (Main Particles)


Nucleus (Nucleons)
Proton, p, positive charge
mass = 1.67262x10-27 kg

Neutron, n, no charge
mass = 1.67929x10-27 kg

Electron Shell/Cloud
Electron, e, negative charge
mass = 9.10939x10-31 kg

Atomic (Bohr) Model

Other Basic Particles


Photon
Electromagnetic wave
No mass or charge

Neutrino (Antineutrino)
No mass or charge
Appears during decay of certain nuclei

Many more that Physicists like

Atomic Definitions
Atomic Number, Z
Number of Protons/Electrons

Atomic Mass Number, A


Total Number of Nucleons

Atomic Weight
Mass of a Neutral Atom Relative to the Mass of 12C

Element
Nuclide with Unique Atomic Number

Isotopes
Nuclides with Same Atomic Number but Different
Atomic Mass Numbers

Common Isotopes

http://www.eccentrix.com/

Atomic Definitions
Isotope Identification

Activity

or X-A

A
Z

Number of disintegrations (decays) per unit time

Half-Life

Time for half of the material to decay away

Radiation Decay
A t A0 exp t
ln 2

T1

Isotope

222

Rn 4 days

131

12.3 years

5730 years

239

Pu

2.4x104 years

235

7x108 years

238

4.5x109 years

14

N t N 0 exp

N t A t

8 days

Half-Life

Radiation Units
Becquerel, Bq
One disintegration per second
Rate at which radiation of some type is
emitted from a collection
of isotopes

Curie, Ci
3.7x1010 Bq
Amount of radiation emitted from
1 g of Ra-226

Common Radioactive Decay


Alpha,
Helium Nucleus
(4 n, 2 p)
Captures 2 e

Beta,
Electron

Positron,
Gamma,
Photon

Atomic Stability Curve


Alpha
Decay
Beta
Decay

Positron
Decay

Decay Chains

3 Things to Reduce Radiation


Distance
Shielding
Time

Distance: Inverse Square Law


Surfaceareaofa
sphereis4r2

I (r ) r

Sp
4r

Visualizing Distance

Shielding: Attenuation

I I 0 exp

is a function of radiation energy


and shielding material

Shielding Radiation

Visualizing Shielding

Time: Duration of Exposure

Common Radioisotopes

Carbon-14, Organic Material


Potassium-40, Bananas
Technetium-99, Medical Diagnosis
Cesium-137, Industrial Gauges
Lead-210, Ground
Radium-226,-228, Brazil Nuts
Uranium-234,-235,-238, Ground
Thorium-232, Ground
Plutonium-238, Pacemakers
Americium-241, Smoke Detectors

Examples and Problems 1.2


Pumped Storage Scheme:
Reservoir Containing 6.7 million m3 H2O
500 m above the Lower Reservoir
Can Supply 1800 MWe
Assume No Losses
How Long Can the Plant Remain in
Operation?

Examples and Problems 1.2


Solution
Find the Total Potential Energy

Mass = Volume * Density


= 1000 kg/m3, m = 6.7x109 kg
PE = Mass * Height * Gravity (9.81 m/s2)
PE = 32.8x1013 J
Operational Time = PE/Power
OT = 5 hours

Examples and Problems 1.2


Other Problems using Same Equations
What is the Volume of the Upper Reservoir for
a Set Power Supply and Operational Time?
Account for Additional Power Losses using
Efficiency Terms
Compare Reservoir Sizes and Heights for
Desired Power Ratings

Additional Analysis
Energy Costs to Fill Upper Reservoir versus
Revenue Generated from Energy Produced

Radiation Decay Example


If you had a vial containing 9x1012 Bq
each of carbon-14 and Bq of tritium,
what would the activity be 100 years
later? How many grams of each
would be in the container?
(The isotopes decay into nitrogen-14
and helium-3, respectively)

Radiation Decay Example


A t A0 exp t

ln 2

T1

Isotope

Half-Life

12.3 years

5730 years

14

N t A t
N (t ) MW
m(t )
NA

N A 6.022 10 23

atoms
mol

Isotope

A(100y)

N(100y)

m(100y)

3.2x1010 Bq

5.7x1011 atoms

2.8 pg

8.9x1012 Bq

7.4x1016 atoms

1.5 g

14