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Table 1-4 Gamma Rays/X-Rays - hdbk-1130-98_ch10203


DOE-HDBK-1130-98
Table 1-3
Beta Particles
Small mass.
Physical
-1 charge or + 1 charge.
Characteristics
Short distance (one inch to 20 feet).
Range
Plastic.
Shielding
Glass.
Safety glasses.
Internal hazard (this is due to short range).
Externally, may be hazardous to skin and eyes.
Hazard
Insert facility-specific information.
Sources
3. Gamma rays/X rays
a.
Physical characteristics
1) Gamma/X-ray radiation is an electromagnetic wave (electromagnetic radiation) or photon
and has no mass and no electrical charge.
2) Gamma rays are very similar to X rays. The difference between gamma rays and X
rays is that gamma rays originate inside the nucleus and X rays orig inate in the electron
orbits outside the nucleus.
3) Gamma/X-ray radiation can ionize as a result of direct interactions with orbital electrons.
b. Range
1) Because gamma/X-ray radiation has no charge and no mass, it has very high penetrating
ability.
2) The range in air is very far. It will easily go several hundred feet.
c. Shielding
Gamma/X-ray radiation is best shielded by very dense materials, such as lead. Water or
concrete, although not as effective as the same thickness as lead, are also commonly used,
especially if the thickness of shielding is not limiting.
d. Biological hazards
Gamma/X-ray radiation can result in radiation exposure to the whole body.
9


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