Utilization of Nuclear Technology

Corn Field next to Nuclear Power Plant ca. 1990s Byron, Illinois, USA

Some of the utilization of nuclear technology in everyday life can be classified into various fields, among others, as follows.

A. Livestock Sector

Indonesian researchers have successfully used radioactive isotopes to utilize feed so that with the same amount of feed will be consumed by more livestock. The name is Urea Molasses Multi-nutrient Block (UMMB) which has been used by the farmers in West Java, Central Java, and eastern Indonesia, especially West Nusa Tenggara. This causes the livestock that is given the formula can be faster the development of fat and weight increase, improve the quality and production of cattle milk, and accelerate reproduction.

In the field of animal husbandry, nuclear technology has been used to produce vaccines for chickens, fattening livestock, increasing endurance of livestock against disease, and so forth.

The radiation nuclear technique carried out in the field of livestock health is useful in part to weaken the pathogenicity of diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and worms. Scientists have also managed to find the use of radiation has made radio vaccine and preservation of livestock products. Radio vaccine is a technique of making vaccines by means of irradiation. Through this vaccine, immune or cattle antibodies against illness can be increased. In any animal genetic improvement effort, nuclear energy can be utilized.

B. Field of Agriculture

In the field of agriculture, nuclear technology is used to obtain superior plant varieties such as rice and soybean varieties through irradiation techniques. The Isotope and Radiation Application Center (PAIR) has produced a number of new improved varieties by way of mutations by radiation impacts, such as lowland and upland rice varieties, soybeans, and green beans. For example, once rice production only 4 – 5 tons per hectare, but with improved varieties of radiation mutation, the productivity of the harvest could be increased to 7-11 tons per hectare.

Among the benefits of nuclear technology is the reduction of the use of artificial fertilizers and the utilization and improvement of land productivity, pest control.

C. Field of Medicine

Nuclear technology can be used for health, either for diagnosis or for treatment or therapy. Using radiation from radioactive isotopes of cobalt at certain doses of cancer cells, these cells will die, whereas normal cells are not so affected during treatment. In addition to diagnosing the patient’s illness without having to perform surgery, doctors usually use X-rays. In addition, nuclear medicine is also able to detect the recurrence of cancer. Since tens of years ago, various national hospitals have utilized domestic production radioisotope for diagnostic purposes or various kinds of diseases.

The medical field has benefited from nuclear techniques such as medical examination using camera gamma plane, useful prototypes for the diagnosis of kidney function, X-prototype light plane useful as anatomical diagnosis of organs, Thyroid uptake-prototype for trap mump test, and Brachytherapy used as a cervical cancer therapy, coronary heart examination, and detect bleeding in the digestive tract.

In addition to Biotherapy, Cs-137 and Co-60 radioscopies are also used for Teletherapy, although lately teletherapy using Cs-137 radioisotope is no longer recommended for use. Although in recent decades the number of the Co-60 teletherapy plane began to decline was replaced with a medical accelerator. The radioisotope, in addition to being used for brachytherapy and teletype, is now also widely used for the purposes of Gamma Knife, as another way of treating cancer located in the head.

Even radioisotope generators today also play a major role in producing radioisotopes for health, especially nuclear medicine. The production, development, and utilization of the Mo-99 / Tc-99m generator is a positive impact in nuclear applications for health and pharmaceuticals. With this generator the problems of reproduction factors, time, and distance to the place that produce radioisotopes, as well as reducing the dose received by the patient.

Nuclear Technology for Malaria Vector Infection One way of sterilizing a mosquito/vector is by way of ionizing radiation imposed on one of its developmental stages. Radiation for this sterilization can use gamma rays, X-rays or neutrons.

Another ability is to determine the location of abnormalities in circumstances in which tumor marker levels in the blood increase. Another benefit of nuclear medicine techniques is that it can be used to monitor organ function and detect the damage caused by treatment, such as monitoring the heart function of patients receiving chemotherapy treatment. In addition, bone imaging using nuclear medicine techniques is a way to detect the spread of cancer to the bone. The same method is also used for monitoring. Nuclear technology is also very helpful in the healing of heart disease. Nuclear technology has the ability to diagnose and determine the prognosis of coronary heart disease. In general, nuclear medicine techniques in the field of cardiology (heart disease) use gamma cameras that can be used to assess the function of the heart qualitatively and quantitatively. In addition, cardiac functional assessment can also be done globally and regionally. In addition, to scan the lungs and assess respiratory problems.

D. Energy Sector

The most significant use is the nuclear reactor as an energy source for power generation and for power in some ships. This is usually done by a method that involves using heat from a nuclear reaction for steam turbine power. In the field of energy, nuclear power has been exploited on a large scale for Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).

Transportation can be divided into two types, namely the direct utilization of nuclear reactors for transportation and indirect use of Hydrogen production from excess heat of nuclear reactors, which will then be used as fuel.

Nuclear energy is a type of nuclear technology that involves using the control of nuclear fission reactions to release energy, including propulsion, heat, and electricity generation. Nuclear energy is produced by a controlled nuclear reaction that creates heat which is then used to heat water, produce steam, and control steam turbines. This turbine is used to generate electrical energy and/or perform mechanical work.

Currently, nuclear energy generates about 15.7% of the electricity generated worldwide (data of 2004) and is used to move the ships of mothers, icebreakers, and nuclear submarines.

E. Biological Field

In the field of biology, radioisotopes can be used to study the mechanisms of photosynthetic reactions. This radioisotope, a form of carbon-14 (C-14) or oxygen-18 (O-18). Both can be used to determine the origin of oxygen atoms (from CO2 or from H2O) that will form glucose or oxygen compounds produced in the photosynthesis process (Sutresna, 2007 and Abdul Jalil Amri Arma, 2009).

6CO2 + 6H2O C6H12O6 + 6O2

A) Measurement of Age of Organic Materials

Radioisotopes of carbon-14, formed in the upper atmosphere of the shooting of nitrogen atoms with neutrons formed by cosmic radiation.

The radioactive carbon is on the surface of the earth as carbon dioxide in the air and as a carbon-hydrogen ion in the ocean. Therefore, radioactive carbon that accompanies growth through photosynthesis. Eventually, there is an equilibrium between carbon-14 received and decaying in plants and animals, reaching 15.3 dis/min of carbon gram. This liveliness remains within a few thousand years. When living organisms die, 14C’s taking is stalled and this activity decreases. Therefore, the age of carbonaceous material can be estimated from the measurement of its liveliness and the half-life of 14C. (12 T = 5,730 years).

B) Other uses of radioisotopes in the field of biology are as followsLearn the process of water absorption and circulation in the stem of the plant.
Study the effect of nutrients other than N, P, and K elements on plant growth.
Encourage the mutation of plant genes in an effort to get superior seeds.
Learn the dynamic equilibrium.
Learn the reaction of the shearing.

F. Food Sector

With certain radiation doses of bacteria and salmonella present in food and beverage products it can be turned off, so that food conditions remain fresh and intact, and also no side effects.

Food irradiation is the process of exposing foods to ionizing radiation aimed at destroying the microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, or insects that are thought to be in the diet. The type of radiation used is the gamma rays, X-rays, and electrons released by the electron accelerator. Other applications are the prevention of germination process, inhibiting the ripening of fruit, fruit pulp yield improvement, and an increase in rehydration. Broadly speaking, irradiation is the exposure (radiation by radiation) of a material to obtain technical benefits.

G. Field of Archeology

Determining the age of fossils with C-14. Radioisotopes have a role that is still difficult to be replaced by other methods. Radioisotopes play a role in determining the age of a fossil. The age of a fossil can be known from traces of radioisotope carbon-14. When living things are alive, the carbon-14 radioisotope content is in a constant state, similar to that in the Earth’s atmosphere that is kept constant by the effects of cosmic rays at about 14 DPM (disintegrations per minute) in 1 gram of carbon. This is because these living things are still involved in the carbon cycle in nature. However, since the living creature is dead, it is no longer involved in the carbon cycle in nature. As a result, radioisotope carbon-14 which has a half-life of 5730 years undergoes continuous decay. The age of a fossil can be known from the carbon-14 content in it. If the womb lives half of it, then it can be seen that he was 5730 years old.

H. Field of Hydrology

A) To test the flow velocity of a stream or mudflow

This radioisotope can be used to measure water discharge. Typically, sodium-24 (Na-24) radioisotopes are used in the form of NaCl salts. In its use, this salt is dissolved into water or mud to be examined for its debit. At certain places or distances, the intensity of the radiation is checked, so the time range required to reach that distance can be known.

B) To detect leaks in underground pipes

To detect leaks in underground pipes, a Na-24 radioisotope is usually used in the form of a NaCl or Na2CO3 salt. This Na-24 radioisotope can emit gamma rays that can be detected by using the Geiger counter radioactive enumerator. To detect leaks in water pipes, salts containing radioisotopes of Na-24 are dissolved into water. Then, the ground surface above the water pipe is checked with Geiger counter. Excessive radiation intensity indicates a leak. Radioisotopes can also be used to test the leakage of metal connections on the framework of aircraft manufacture.

I. Field of Mining

Radioisotopes provide great benefits in the field of mining. In petroleum mining, radioisotopes help to find traces of water in rock layers. In petroleum drilling, it is usually only a portion of the petroleum that can be extracted by utilizing pressure from within the earth. If the pressure is exhausted or insufficient, additional pressure is required to facilitate its taking. The addition of this pressure can be done dating how to flood the oil basin with water known as flooding. Water is injected into it by drilling a new well. In this water injection process, it is necessary to ensure that the water that is inserted into the rock layers actually enters the desired oil basin. Here radioisotopes play a role. Radioisotopes cobalt-57, cobalt-58, and cobalt-60 in the form of hexacyanocobaltate complex ions are the solution. This ion will move together with the injection water so that the direction of the water movement can be detected by detecting the presence of the cobalt radioisotope. Radioisotopes of cobalt-60 in the form of hexacyanocobaltate has been successfully made in the Puspiptek Serpong area of Tangerang and ready for use.

Radioactive tritium and cobalt 60 are used to trace underground oil flows and then determine the best strategy to inject water into the wells. This will force out the remaining oil in sacs that have not previously been lifted. Millions of additional barrels of crude oil have been obtained in this way.

J. Field of Industry

Currently radioactive is used by industry. For example, the fertilizer industry, or even used by companies looking for new sources of petroleum resources in the bowels of the earth. In the industrial field, nuclear technology is already widely used, for example for sterilization, material quality testing, construction, and more.

A) Non-destructive examination.

Gamma-ray radiation can be used to check for defects in metals or welded joints, ie by recovering the material. This technique is based on the nature that the thicker the material the radiation passes, the radiation intensity passed is decreased, so from the drawing made it can be seen whether the metal is evenly distributed or there are hollow parts inside. In the hollow section, the film will be black.

B) Controlling the thickness of the material

The thickness of the product in the form of sheets, such as film paper or metal plates can be controlled by radiation. The principle is the same as above that the intensity of radiation that is continued depends on the thickness of the material passed. The radiation detector is connected to the suppressor. If the sheet becomes thicker, the radiation intensity received by the detector will decrease and the tool mechanism will set a stronger emphasis so that the thickness can be maintained.

C) Preservation of ingredients

Radiation has also been widely used to preserve materials such as wood, art goods, and others. Radiation can also improve the quality of textiles because it changes fiber structure so that the stronger or better quality of color absorption. Various types of food can also be preserved with a safe dose so that it can be stored longer. Gamma-ray radiation can be performed on food preservation in two ways:

Eradicate microorganisms, for example in the preservation of spices, such as pepper, coriander, and candlenut.
Inhibits repletion, for example for the preservation of plants that multiply with the formation of shoots, such as potatoes, onions, ginger, and turmeric.

D) Improve the quality of textiles, for example: change the textile fiber structure.E) To study the effects of oil and additives on the machine as long as the machine is working

In industry, Distributed Control System (DCS) and Nucleonic Control System (NCS) have been used to detect various errors or abnormalities in industrial tool work systems. DSC and NSC will automatically control if there are any abnormalities in operation especially in the production system.

K. Other Fields

Nuclear also can be used to measure elements and content of particles scattered in the air.

In this day and age, the search for underground water and offering salt water is also done using nuclear technology.

If the use of nuclear science and technology in Indonesia in early 1970 is more emphasized to look for water leakage from various dams, measure the flow of river water, and so on, in the recent use of nuclear science and technology is used to find deep groundwater source that will be used as a source of water in the area Hard water.

In the field of construction, especially road technology. Nuclear technology is used to measure moisture and soil density, asphalt, and concrete. Utilization of nuclear technology is also used to determine the density (density) of an industrial product, for example, to determine the tobacco density in cigarettes used Sr-90, can also be used to determine the thickness of the paper. Currently, there are several cigarette industries in Indonesia that have utilized this technology to maintain the quality of cigarettes.