Module 101 Properties of Uranium
As uranium goes through radioactive decay, it produces
other radioactive elements known as radioactive decay
products (also called progeny or daughter products).
These radioactive decay products are also radioactive and
have to be taken into account for radiological protection
Both alpha and beta particles are emitted as part of decay
series. For example, 238U decays by alpha emission to
234Th; 234Th decays by beta emission to 234mPa; and
so on, until stable 206Pb is finally reached.
Uranium has two naturally occurring decay series:
Discuss decay products
the "actinium" series, which has 235U as its parent;
resulting in radiological
and the "uranium" series, which has 238U as its
concerns at your facility.
Refer to the Health
parent. Many of our everyday encounters with
Physics Manual of Good
radioactivity come from these decay series;
Practices for Uranium
examples are radon gas and radium.
Facilities for specific
technical information on
There are also man-made isotopes of uranium -
different isotopes of
232U and 233U. These radionuclides and their
decay products must be considered in the
implementation of a radiological control program at
a facility where these uranium nuclides are present.