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 purposes.
Both alpha and beta particles are emitted as part of decay
series. For example, 238U decays by alpha emission to
Th; 234Th decays by beta emission to 234mPa; and so on,
until stable 206Pb is finally reached.
Discuss decay products resulting
in radiological concerns at your
Uranium has two naturally occurring decay series:
the "actinium" series, which has 235U as its parent;
facility. Refer to the Health
and the "uranium" series, which has 238U as its
Physics Manual of Good
Practices for Uranium Facilities
parent. Many of our everyday encounters with
for specific technical
radioactivity come from these decay series;
information on different isotopes
examples are rado n gas and r adium.
of urani um.
There a re also ma n-made iso topes of uranium -
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.
Uranium is a fissionable material, which means it
can undergo nuclear fission. Nuclear fission is a