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Radionuclides: Anthropogenic

  1. Jerzy W. Mietelski

Published Online: 15 JUN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia701

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Mietelski, J. W. 2010. Radionuclides: Anthropogenic. Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kraków, Poland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUN 2010


Following the definition of anthropogenic radioactivity, the main discoveries in this field made in the 1930s are briefly presented. The main facts about radioisotopes classification, radioactive decay, and artificial radionuclide production are then described. The article then provides a general overview on anthropogenic sources of radioactivity such as nuclear explosions, nuclear accidents, routine releases from nuclear reactors, releases due to nuclear weapon production programs or nuclear fuel reprocessing installations, and nuclear medicine. A description of modern techniques applied in determining radioactivity in the environment as well as a very general introduction to the concept of radioecology and some basic information on environmental remediation are presented.


  • artificial radionuclides;
  • nuclear physics;
  • nuclide chart;
  • classification;
  • isotopes;
  • global fallout;
  • nuclear accidents;
  • radioecology;
  • nuclear spectrometric techniques;
  • environmental radioactivity