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Nuclear Reactors

Nuclear reactors created not only large amounts of plutonium needed for the weapons programs, but a variety of other interesting and useful radioisotopes. They produced 60Co, in which the non-conservation of parity was first discovered, and a number of transuranic isotopes that are used to study the limits of the periodic table. Reactors also produce isotopes for commercial and medical purposes:

    1. 241Am–used in smoke detectors,
    2. 60Co–used in industry to inspect weld quality, also used in cancer therapy,
    3. 99mTc–used for medical diagnosis, and
    4. 137Cs–also used for medical therapy.

Reactor neutrons have been used for material studies that involve their scattering from the crystal planes.

  last updated: August 9, 2000 webmaster