Nuclear Power/Ra226


QUESTION: Dear Mr. Kadiroglu,

I would like to know if you could tell me how to actually SAY the complete nuclear equation for Ra 226.  For example -- How the symbols are pronounced when spoken, etc.

I need to be able to properly articulate this equation for a presentation.

Thank you so much for your time,

Decay chain of Ra222
Decay chain of Ra222  

Terribly sorry for the delay, I had to visit my 90 year old mother out of town where there was very limited internet access.

I am bit confused by what you mean by nuclear equation so I will answer your question the way I understand it.

When we read a radioactive isotope we say "Radium 226" for Ra226. According to the decay scheme we say "Radium 226 decays into Radon 222 with a half-life of 1600 years by emitting an alpha particle which then decays into Polonium 218 with a half-life of 3.82 days by emitting an alpha particle."

I hope this what you are asking.

Best regards

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Mr. Kadiroglu,

Thanks so much for answering my question.  And, yes, the decay scheme is what I was looking for.   (although until now I didn't know it was called the decay scheme.)

However, is there an equation for Radium that is purely numerical with symbols?  In my humble search I came across one that included Helium.   If my memory serves, it looked something like this: Ra 226 (symbol) PO 220 (symbol) He 4?

Thanks again for your time.  And I hope all is well with your Mom.

Hi Jo,

Alpha particle is the nucleus of Helium atom. ( beta particle is an electron ) We seldom refer alpha particle as Helium in text or verbal communications.

When we mention equations we usually use mathematical notations. If you want to know where Radium comes from ( Earth is 4.5 billion years old and the half-life of Radium is only 1600 years)  or in certain time span how much will decay to some other isotope, we need to write down the decay equations. A simple example is given in the web page .

If you can find a copy of Nuclear Chemical Engineering by Benedict, Pigford and Levi (TK9350.B4) look at Chapter 5 there you will find how Ra is created from Uranium and decay to Lead.

Best Regards

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Osman Kemal Kadiroglu


Nuclear Engineering, Nuclear Engineering Education, Nuclear Reactors, Pebble Bed Modular Reactors, Engineering Education


Has been teaching Nuclear Engineering for more than 20 years and been in this field for more than 30 years

Organizations belong to
American Nuclear Society
Society of Nucelar Engineers of Turkey
Emeritus Prof. Nuclear Engineering Department, Hacettepe University Ankara Turkey

Extra-ordinary Prof. Nuclear Engineering Department, North-West Uni. Potchefstroom South Africa

(Mak. Y. Müh.) MS in Mech. Eng. Istanbul Technical University '68
MS in Nuclear Eng. MIT'72
Sc.D. in Nuclear Eng. MIT'76

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