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Decommissioning & Environmental Sciences
The mission of the Decommissioning and Environmental Sciences (DES) Division is to promote the development and use of those skills and technologies associated with the use of nuclear energy and the optimal management and stewardship of the environment, sustainable development, decommissioning, remediation, reutilization, and long-term surveillance and maintenance of nuclear-related installations, and sites. The target audience for this effort is the membership of the Division, the Society, and the public at large.
2021 ANS Winter Meeting and Technology Expo
November 30–December 3, 2021
Washington, DC|Washington Hilton
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NNSA awards SHINE $35 million for Mo-99 production
The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration has issued a cooperative agreement worth $35 million to SHINE Technologies, based in Janesville, Wis., to support the commercial production of molybdenum-99, a critical isotope used in more than 40,000 medical procedures in the United States each day, including the diagnosis of heart disease and cancer.
Nuclear science is far-reaching in the fabric of modern life. It can help explain the origins of the universe or how x-rays reveal the bones in your body. In fact, nuclear science is at the heart of so many of the technologies that improve our lives, that it’s easy to take for granted how those technologies came to be. But behind every innovation and discovery in the nuclear fields, is a scientist or engineer researching the atomic nucleus and how to use it to improve our lives.
Scientists used to think there was nothing smaller than an atom.
Today, we know the atom is made of smaller particles, and those are made of even smaller particles.
The nucleus is made of protons and neutrons; each has the same mass: 1 amu (atomic mass unit).
Protons and neutrons aren’t exactly alike, though; protons have a positive charge while neutrons don’t have a charge.
Electrons are so small that they have nearly no mass at all. A single electron has only 1/1836 amu. Electrons are also negatively charged.
All of the known elements are organized on the periodic table of the elements. They are arranged by atomic number, from smallest to largest, and labeled with their element symbol, atomic number, and atomic mass.
To easily communicate information about the elements, scientists use standard nuclear notation.
Nuclear notation is formed by writing an elemental symbol preceded by a subscript indicating its atomic number—the number of protons—and a superscript indicating its mass number—the number of protons and neutrons combined.
For example: Carbon has 6 protons, so it’s atomic number is 6.
Carbon's mass number is 12. How many neutrons does it have?
The mass number of an element is a round number; the atomic mass usually isn't. Atomic mass is an average mass of all of the isotopes of an element. We use the mass number, which is always a round number, to make calculations easier.
Think about clover. Clovers can have three, four, or even more leaves. The four-leaved clovers are rare, but they are still clovers. In a similar way, two atoms of an element can have different numbers of neutrons. Because they still have the same number of protons, though, they are the same element. These “varieties” of the same element are called isotopes.
Learn more about radioactivity
Last modified April 5, 2021, 2:24pm CDT