Industrial and Medical Radioisotopes

Identify one use of a named radioisotope:
  • in industry
  • in medicine
Describe the way in which the above named industrial and medical radioisotopes are used and explain their use in terms of their chemical properties



Radioisotope
Cobalt-60
Sodium-24
Field
Medicine
Industry
Decays to
Nickel-60
Magnesium-24
Radiation produced
Beta and gamma
Beta and gamma
Production
Neutron bombardment of cobalt-59Neutron bombardment of sodium
Use
Treatment of cancer
  • produces gamma rays, which can be used to treat cancer by irradiating the affected areas of the body
  • Kills cancer cells along with other cells
Detection of leaks in pipes
  • Can be added to the liquid (water or oil) in a pipe and then be tested for along the pipe
  • No radiation will be detected from inside the pipe
  • If it leaks into the soil surrounding the pipe, it can be detected and the leak located
Suitability of half-life
Has a suitable half-life for the process, being long enough to have a reasonable lifetime in the equipment (about 5 years), but short enough to emit a reasonable intensity of radiationHas a half-life of 15 hours, which means that the liquid quickly becomes safe to use again and the environment is quickly decontaminated
Comparison of cobalt-60 and sodium-24 and their uses

Easychem - Industrial and Medical Radioisotopes


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