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Intro to Radiation Safety

WHAT IS RADIATION?

Before exploring the various ways that radiation is used in and affects the world around you, it’s important to have a general understanding of what radiation is and how it works on a fundamental level.

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TYPES OF IONIZING RADIATION

Learn about the differences between Alpha, Beta, Gamma, X-Ray and Neutron Radiation.

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The History of Radiation

Our understanding of radiation comes from a long history of research, involving some of the brightest minds and famous names of their times.  Find out how the understanding of radiation and what it could do evolved from the discovery of a new kind of “ray” to one of the strongest power sources (and powerful weapons) known.

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NATURALLY OCCURRING RADIATION & NORM

Radiation isn’t just generated in laboratories and reactors.  It’s a fundamental part of the universe, and it can be found in a variety of surprising places.  Discover how commonplace some sources of radiation can be, and hopefully gain some helpful context for discussing levels of radiation.

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OTHER SOURCES OF RADIATION

Outside of nature, there are areas where radiation and radioactive material might come into contact with the average person.  We examine the more common of these sources, and how much they contribute to the average person’s annual exposure.

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RADIATION VS CONTAMINATION

Putting to rest the myth that being exposed to radiation, such as medical X-Rays, somehow makes you radioactive yourself.  We discuss the difference between radiation and radioactivity, and what makes something “contaminated.”

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USES OF RADIATION

Radiation isn’t something to be universally feared, necessarily.  There are various ways in which radioactive material is used to shape the modern world and improve the lives of people in it.  These are some of them.

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HOW DOES RADIATION AFFECT ME?

Addressing probably the most fundamental concern about radiation, how it affects the human body and health, including a primer on how to talk about levels of exposure. 

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GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF RADIATION & EXPOSURE

The creation, use, and transportation of radioactive material is tightly regulated by various parts of the government.  From security checkpoints to shipments on the open road, we examine how various groups work to ensure safe handling or interdiction of radioactive materials.

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