isotopes are referred to as radionuclides.
unstable and, in an effort to become stable, release energy.
This release of energy comes from the release of particles or
electromagnetic waves as the radioactive atoms "decay"
or decompose. The three main types of radiation, or releases
of energy, are alpha, beta and
Particles are positively charged particles made
up of two neutrons and two protons. They are relatively
heavy and slower moving than other radioactive emissions.
Alpha particles can be stopped by a piece of paper or
the dead outer layer of our skin.
Particles are negatively charged particles made up
of an electron. A beta particle is lighter and faster
than an alpha particle and can be stopped by a thin piece of
aluminium or a short span of air.
Rays are short wavelength electromagnetic radiation
emitted in the radioactive decay of an unstable atom.
Gamma radiation is highly penetrating and is stopped by lead.
A list of common human-made
radionuclides, along with their
chemical symbol, are listed below. All human-made
radionuclides detected by ESER Surveillance Program are
listed in quarterly and annual reports.