There are many practical applications of radiation and radioactivity in various fields, including medical, scientific, and industrial activities. In some parts of Japan, people continue to experience environmental radioactivity caused by the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on a daily basis. Understanding the basic science of radiation and radioactivity will form the base of the course, with specific examples from Japan and elsewhere in the world to illustrate concepts.
This course introduces radiochemistry, radiation detection and measurement, and explores radiation’s effect on the human body. You will gain a greater understanding of radioisotopes, radioactive decay, radiations, radiation interaction with matter, and ways to assess radiation exposure. We will explore applications of radiation through various examples including nuclear power generation, diagnostic and therapeutic uses in medicine, and other scientific and industrial uses. Lastly, we will discuss the fate and transport of radioactive cesium in Fukushima in relation to chemical and physical properties of the radionuclide.