Extra information

What is nuclear radiation?

Ionizing radiation better known as nuclear radiation is emitted by radioactive substances and x-ray equipment or linear accelerators. Nuclear radiation often gets bad press; the disaster at Fukushima, demonstrations against transport of nuclear waste and radioactive contaminations of the environment. It is often forgotten that there are also many positive applications of radioactivity and ionizing radiation. As a result the general perception of radiation is, that is dangerous, harmful radiation that can not be picked up by our senses, making it even more scary. The Reactor Institute Delft (RID), part of the Delft University of Technology, wishes to inform you about the history, applications and risks of radioactivity and ionizing radiation using this website.

Radioactivity explained in animations and movies

In 16 interactive animations we explain in a clear way how radioactive decay takes place, what a radiation dose is and how you can protect yourself against ionizing radiation. Some applications of for example gamma radiation and X-rays are explained in more detail. The unit ‘microsievert’ which is often used in the media is explained and an indication is given at which levels ionizing radiation is deleterious. Ionizing radiation is ubiquitous and not only present in hospitals or nuclear reactors, we show that radioactivity and ionizing radiation is a natural phenomenon. As said, radiation is ubiquitous, this implies that your house but also you yourself are radioactive! Measurement of radiation is used as a tool in the movies. You can see how different sources are measured, how shielding of ionizing  radiation works and in which manner a radioactive contamination may occur. Also we give you a virtual tour in our reactor hall, where we follow the radiation levels that can be measured there. All movies have also been posted on the Youtube channel: RID nuclear radiation.


More information about nuclear radiation

The website will be extended in time with additional information about ionizing radiation. We will use text and pictures to further explain the information given in the movies and animations. Also we are planning to extent the quiz as well as add to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) on ionizing radiation and radioactivity. If you have a question that you would like to have answered please send us an e-mail at: whatisnuclearradiation@gmail.com.
Do you require or wish more information about radioactivity, nuclear (ionizing) radiation, harmfulness of radiation, radiation protection, radiation detection, applications of radioactivity (in health) or nuclear energy? The contents of this site have been put together by the lecturers of the education department of the national centre for radiation protection (NCSV), part of the Reactor Institute Delft (RID), the Dutch knowledge centre on radioactivity and radiation. You can find our institute via the website www.rid.tudelft.nl, our radiation protection education at  www.rid.tudelft.nl/opleidingen-stralingsveiligheid and our research at  www.rst.tudelft.nl.