Topics: Nuclear fission, Nuclear physics, Gamma ray Pages: 2 (674 words) Published: February 18, 2013
Nuclear Chemistry: The Good vs. the Ugly
The definition for nuclear chemistry is the application of chemical techniques to the solution of problems in nuclear physics. This includes the discovery of naturally occurring and synthetic radioactive elements and the results of nuclear fission. There are both pros and cons in nuclear chemistry. People believe that nuclear chemistry is bad for the environment but there are a lot of great things that can come out of this. Things like medical uses, food and even in your own home! A pro for having nuclear chemistry are smoke protectors which contain a small amount of americium-241. By utilizing the radioactive properties of this material, smoke from a fire can be detected at a very early stage. This early warning capability has saved many lives. Another pro would be food irradiation which is the method of treating food in order to make it safer to eat and have a longer shelf life. The important part of food irradiation is by exposing it to the gamma rays of a radioisotope cobalt-60 the energy from the gamma ray passing through the food to destroy many disease-causing bacteria. The gamma ray stops the bacteria that causes food to spoil, but is not strong enough to change the quality, flavor or texture of the food. Lastly doctors practice this new thing called nuclear medicine which uses radiation for diagnostic and treatment. Radiation produces information and is used to treat tumors or diseased organs. The cons of nuclear chemistry would be the usage of atomic bombs. The radiation from the blast is very deadly. Radioactive dust can travel to places where innocent people live. The dust can kill for a very long time. Another con would be the usage of nuclear power plant which is extremely costly. Building or restarting the number of nuclear power plants that the industry is pushing for would cost trillions of dollars. Another risk is water contamination with radioactive substances has occurred around over a dozen...
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