The World Nuclear Association has produced the following one page guides to explain radiation and radioactivity in more detail.
This guide lists the different types of ionizing radiation - alpha, beta, gamma and neutron. It explains how we measure radiation and what a half-life is. The guide also describes how some radiation can be blocked by a sheet of paper, whereas other radiation can pass through concrete.
Health Risks from Radiation
This guide describes the health impacts of very large doses of radiation. The guide also gives examples of the very much smaller doses people receive from background radiation and the limits applied to nuclear workers.
Background Radiation and Occupational Exposure
This guide shows how much radiation we get from natural sources such as radon and cosmic rays and how much from artificial sources such as medical treatments and from nuclear power. The guide also shows how we can protect ourselves from high levels of radiation and what standards and regulations apply to occupational radiation exposure.
Related Radiation Documents
An overview of radiation, radioactive decay, the health effects of radiation and the regulations put in place to protect people.
Natural sources account for most of the radiation we all receive each year. Up to a quarter originates mainly from medical procedures. Radiation protection standards assume that any dose of radiation, no matter how small, involves a possible risk to human health. This deliberately conservative assumption is increasingly being questioned.
Radioactive materials which occur naturally and where human activities increase the exposure of people to ionising radiation are known by the acronym 'NORM'. NORM results from activities such as burning coal, making and using fertilisers, oil and gas production.
There has been more than 40 years of experience in applying international radiation safety regulations at uranium mines. Uranium mining companies have taken steps to reduce radiation doses wherever and whenever they can.
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