Health Physics

is the science concerned with the recognition, evaluation and control of health hazards from ionizing radiation.

Radiological Health

is the art and science of protecting human beings from injury by radiation, and promoting better health through beneficial application of radiation.

Nuclear Reactors

are apparatus in which nuclear fission may be sustained in a self-supporting chain reaction. A reactor includes fissionable material (fuel) such as uranium or plutonium, and moderating material (except fast reactors), and usually includes a reflector to conserve escaping neutrons, provision for heat removal, and measuring and control elements. The terms "pile" and "reactor" have been used inter-changeably, with reactor now becoming more common. These terms usually are applied only to systems in which the reaction proceeds at a controlled rate, but they have also been applied to bombs.

* Pressurized-Water Reactor

is a reactor whose primary coolant, water, is maintained under such a pressure that bulk boiling does not occur. You can find some information on all U.S. nuclear facilities by clicking here.

* Boiling-Water Reactor

is a reactor whose primary coolant is allowed to boil.

* Breeder Reactor

is a reactor which produces more fissile material than it consumes, i.e., has a conversion ratio greater than unity.

Sites of Interest

Global Dosimetry Solutions, Inc.
American Nuclear Society
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission - Canada
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
Books on Health Physics, Dosimetry and Radiation Protection
Decay Data Search
DOELAP External Home Page
Edison Electric Institute
Electric Power Research Institute
Electronic Medical Physics World
Environmental Health Perspectives
Fast Flux Test Facility
Environmental Health resources
FedWorld Beta Home Page
Georgia Tech Office of Radiation Safety
Health Physics Society
Idaho State HP Page
Japan Atomic Power Company - Tsuruga Power Station 1
Japanese Survivors Study
Low dose radiation,Hormesis and Radioadaptive response
The Lund/LBNL Nuclear Data Search
Medical Nuclide Database
Medical Physics Books and Journals Online
Metric Publications
Michigan State Government Radiation Safety Section
National Academy of Science
National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements
National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Nuclear Energy Institute
Nick Tsurikov's World Radiation Links
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Reactor Home Page
NRRPT Web Page
Photcoef Page - Calculation Coefficients
Radsafe Mailing List Archives
Radiation Effects Research Foundation
Univ. of Michigan - Radiation Protection HomePage
Radionuclide Half-Life Measurements Made at NIST
Siemens Environmental Systems
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Southern California Chapter Health Physics Society
Swiss Society of Radiobiology and Medical Physics
State of Texas Bureau of Radiation Control
Table of the Nuclides
Thomas - US Congress on the Internet
Todd's Atomic Home Page
UK DETR Radioactive Substances Division
University of Tennessee Health Physics Scociety
UIUC Radiation Safety Section
US EPA-Radiation Protection Division
US State Radiation Control Programs

I manage a "nuclear related news mailing list"with >5000 members currently .. If you would like to be added to the list, please contact me at ... or

Source of Exposure Exposure
Natural Background 0.006 mR/hr
Coal Burning Power Plant 0.165 mR/yr
X-rays from TV set (1 inch) 0.500 mR/hr
Airplane ride (39,000 ft.) 0.500 mR/hr
Nuclear Power Plant (normal operation at plant boundary) 0.600 mR/yr
Weapons Fallout ~1 mR/yr
Building materials (concrete) 3 mR/yr
Drinking Water 5mRem/yr
Coast to coast Airplane roundtrip 5 mRem/RT
Chest x-ray 5 - 20 mRem/exp
Pocket watch (radium dial) 6 mRem/yr
Eyeglasses (containing thorium) 6 - 11 mR/yr
Natural gas in home 9 mRem/yr
Dental x-ray 10 mRem/exp
Terrestrial Background(Atlantic coast) 16 mRem/yr
Head/Neck x-ray 20 mRem/exp
Cosmic Radiation (sea level) 26 mRem/yr
Radionuclides in the body (ie potassium) 39 mRem/yr
CosmicRadiation(Denver) 50 mRem/yr
Terrestrial background (Rocky Mountains) 63 mRem/yr
Three Mile Island (dose at plant duration of the accident 80 mRem
Public dose limits due to licensed activities (NRC) 100 mRem/yr
Lumbar/spinal x-rays 130 mRem/exp
Pelvis/Hip x-ray 170 mRem/exp
Upper GI series 245 mRem/exp
Cumulative Natural Background 300 mRem/yr
Lower GI series 405 mRem/exp
Occupational Exposure Limits for Minors 500 mRem/yr
Occupational Exposure Limits for Fetus 500 mRem
Occupational Limits- DDE 5,000 mRem/yr
Occupational Limits - SDE (skin) 50,000 mRem/yr
Occupational Limits- SDE (extremities) 50,000 mRem/yr
Occupational Limits - LDE (lens of eye) 15,000 mRem/yr
Diagnostic thyroid exam 90,000 mRad/exp
Therapeutic thyroid exam 1,000,000 mRad/exp

Excellent Reference Books

Health Physics and Nuclear Sciences Terms, Rex. J. Borders, CHP, RSA Publications

Introduction to Health Physics (3rd Edition), Herman Cember, McGraw-Hill

Basic Radiation Protection Technology, Daniel A. Golnick, Pacific Radiation Corportation

Radiation Detection and Measurement, Glenn F. Knoll, John Wiley and Sons

Principles of Radioisotope Methodology, Chase and Rabinowitz, Burgess Publishing Company

The Physics of Radiology, Johns and Cunningham, Charles Thomas Publisher

Handbook of Radioactive Nuclides, Yen Wang, The Chemical Rubber Company (CRC)

Radiation Protection Standards, Lauriston Taylor, CRC Press

Radiation Biology, Alison Casarett, Prentice Hall

The Medical Basis for Radiation Accident Preparedness,Hubner and Fry, Elsevier / North Holland

Nuclear Power and its Environmental Effects, Glasstone and Jordan, American Nuclear Society

The Health Hazards of NOT Going Nuclear, Peter Beckman, The Golem Press

Sourcebook on Atomic Energy, Samuel Glasstone, Van Nostrand

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