Nuclear Transmutation

Radioactive disintegrations and nuclear reactions change the nature of nuclei. These changes are reflected in the atom, which becomes a new chemical element. For example, radium (a metal) turns into a gas, radon, and uranium is transformed by fission in much lighter elements such as iodine or caesium. Transmutations induced by neutrons occur in the reactors. They can be used to produced radioisotopes for industrial or medical applications. Inversely, radioactive nuclei can be transform into stable elements or less radioactive. Nuclear transmutation is considered as an option to destroy certain radioactive waste, but the techniques are difficult to implement.


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