What are radioisotopes? Hint: They have nothing to do with broadcasting. Radioisotopes are unstable atoms which, in the process of restoring stability, release radiation. Scientific research and advances in technology have allowed experts to harness the power of radioactivity and, as a result, have forever changed how we live our lives. Chuan-Fu Wu, an expert in nuclear project management with vast knowledge of the uses of radioisotopes, highlights the many benefits civilization has received since the discovery of radioisotopes. Radioisotopes now play an integral role in the practice of medicine, nuclear power, and the preservation of food.
In industrialized nations, the radioisotopes produced from plutonium in nuclear power plants have the ability to fuel the homes of thousands. For this reason, nuclear power sources have been the preferred method of bringing electricity to large cities and metropolitan areas. As nuclear safety and waste management are Chuan-Fu Wu’s areas of expertise, Chuan-Fu Wu knows that without the benefit of radioisotopes, technology would not have been able to advance to the level it has. Thus, the world as we know it would not exist.
One way that the discovery of radioisotopes has benefited society is through their application in the field of medicine. Radioactive properties can be used to detect disease or failing bodily function. A common example of radioisotopes being used to treat illness is chemotherapy, which is the practice of radiation being applied to the body in an attempt to reduce the presence of cancerous cells. In addition, radioisotopes can be used to sterilize medical equipment, which is their most common medical use.
In addition to medicine and the production of energy, radioisotopes have been beneficial in the preservation of food. Through food irradiation, the decay of fresh foods can be slowed down. Also, radioisotopes can be used to reduce the incidence of food borne illness, provide pest control, and increase the overall production of juice from fruit. Because this is a widely accepted practice in agriculture, many of the foods available commercially have gone through this process at some point before arriving on the shelves of your local grocery store.
Chuan-Fu Wu is an established expert in radiation safety and nuclear project management who has dedicated his career to ensuring that nuclear power facilities are operated in a safe and effective manner. As an esteemed professional and educator, Chuan-Fu Wu enjoys providing the public with information about nuclear matters and radiation protection.