Radioactive Elements

Every time a volcano erupts, it’s a reminder that we live on a seething cauldron of natural radioactive elements.

The principal source of geothermal heat that warms up the core is the radioactive decay of isotopes of Uranium, Thorium, and Potassium, all of which have been present in the Earth since its formation around 4.5 billion years ago.

The reason they’re still so potent is that their atoms are disintegrating at a slow rate.

This rate of disintegration is measured by their so-called half-life: the time needed for their activity to fall by 50 percent. All three of the primary sources of radioactivity in the Earth, U-238, Th-232, and K-40, have half-lives similar to the age of our planet and so are still going strong.


Where do They Come From?

Radioactive elements emerge through a consequence of nuclear fission, and through deliberate synthesis in nuclear reactors or particle accelerators, radioactive components  shape naturally.


Natural radioisotopes in stars and supernova explosions exist due to nucleosynthesis. These primary radioisotopes typically have long half-lives and form secondary radionuclides when they decline.

For instance, Thorium-232, Uranium-238, and Uranium-235 primordial isotopes may decline to create secondary Radium and Polonium radionuclides is a cosmogenic isotope instance. Because of cosmic radiation, this radioactive element is continuously formulating in the atmosphere.

Nuclear Fission

Nuclear fission generates radioactive isotopes called fission products from atomic power crops and thermonuclear weapons.

Furthermore, adjacent buildings and nuclear fuel irradiation generate isotopes called activation products. A wide variety of radioactive components can lead, which is why it is so hard to cope with atomic failure and nuclear waste.


The recent component was not discovered in existence on the periodic table. Scientists generate radioactive components in nuclear reactors and accelerators. However, we use various  approaches to create fresh components. Besides, sometimes we put the elements inside a nuclear reactor where the response neutrons interact with the sample to create the essential products. In multiple instances, a goal with energetic particles is bombarded by particle accelerators. An instance of an accelerator radionuclide is Fluorine-18. Furthermore, sometimes it prepares a  specific isotope to collect its decline product. For making Molybdenum-99, we use Technetium-99.

The Rarest of Them All



Element 99 – mysterious and exceptionally radioactive – sits inconspicuously in the bottom row of the periodic table. Named for legendary physicist Albert Einstein, Einsteinium has been one of the most challenging elements to study since it was discovered in 1952 in the airborne debris from the first full-scale hydrogen bomb explosion.


Named after the Greek word for unstable (astatos), Astatine is a naturally occurring semi-metal produced from the decay of Uranium and Thorium. In its most stable form, the element has a  half-time of only 8.1 hours. The entire crust appears to contain about 28 g of the element. If scientists ever have to use it, they basically have to make it from scratch. Only 0.00000005 grams of astatine have been made so far.


The incessant spread of the COVID-19 virus has resulted in a huge strain on the medical infrastructure.

The main metal complexes used as radiopharmaceuticals are compounds of Technetium, like Sodium Pertechnetate and Methylenediphosphonate (MDP) and other compounds of Indium, Thallium, Gallium, Iodine, Chromium, Sulphur, Phosphorus, Fluorine (as Fluorodeoxyglucose, i.e. FDG and Sodium Fluorine), which are widely used in the nuclear medicine for diagnosis by imaging.

The radioactive isotope Iodine-131 has also been able to reduce the replication rate of the COVID-19 virus among the effected patients as the labeled antibodies can bind with the SARS-CoV-2 virus to allow for treatment and imaging of viral load.



Mohammad Hamza Israil

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