HKNIC - Glossary

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Some atoms are unstable and release excess internal energy in the form of radiation. This process is called transformation. Activity measures the number of transformations in one second.

When radionuclides (a radioactive chemical nucleus) stick to dust particles in the air, they form an aerosol.

Ambient Activity
It is measured in Absorbed Dose Rate.

The smallest part of matter that cannot be further separated by chemical means. An atom consists of a nucleus made up of positively charged particles and after particles without charge, to be surrounded by negatively charged particles. These particles are collectively called sub-atomic particles.

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The Becquerel (Bq) is a unit to measure radioactivity. 1 Bq = 1 transformation in one second.

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The demolition of an industrial facility, such as a nuclear power station, to allow the location to be returned for general use.

The dose is the amount of radiation received (or absorbed) by a living body.

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Basic chemical matters that cannot be further separated without changing its chemical behaviours. Each element is chemically unique and there are 117 known elements.

Gases released in the burning of fossil or biological fuels. Such gases generally include carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, and in the atmosphere they affect the heat trapped in the earth coming from the sun and therefore affect the world climate.

Energy associated with the movement of electrically charged particles.

The ability of matter to do work because of its motion, its mass or its electric charge.

The industrial process of increasing the concentration of fissile material in a nuclear material so that it can be made to release nuclear energy.

External Costs
Costs that are not directly included in the charges to the consumers.

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Fissile Material
Material that is easily capable of being split when being hit by a neutrally charged sub-atomic particle.

Fission Products
Material produced after nuclear fission has taken place. These products are usually radioactive.

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A Gray (Gy) is a unit to measure absorbed dose.

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Non-metallic chemical elements, namely fluorine, chorine, bromine, iodine and astatine.

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A substance to slow down the speed of neutrally charged sub-atomic particles, to allow a nuclear fission to take place in a nuclear material with a low concentration of fissile material.

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Noble Gas
Chemically non-reactive gas, such as helium, neon, argon and radon.

Non-renewable Energy
Energy from sources that take a very long time to form and cannot be replaced at the same rate that these energy sources are being used. Examples are various fossil fuels and nuclear fuels.

Nuclear Energy
Energy released from the splitting of heavy atoms, or from the joining of light atoms.

Nuclear Fission
The process of splitting a heavy atom into lighter atoms by a neutrally charged sub-atomic particle, often associated with the release of sub-atomic particles and energy.

Nuclear Fuel
Nuclear material that has been processed or fabricated into a form that it is ready to be used in a nuclear power reactor to produce energy.

Nuclear Fuel Cycle
The activities associated with the extraction of nuclear energy. It includes the excavation and the processing of the nuclear material, nuclear energy generation and the disposal of any resulting waste products.

Nuclear Power Reactor
The equipment in a nuclear power station where nuclear fuel undergoes nuclear fission to produce energy.

Nuclear Power Station
A power generating facility which makes used of nuclear energy to produce electricity.

Nuclear Waste
Residual products that presently have no use after the generation of nuclear energy. These products are usually radioactive which will take time to reduce.

Atoms of the same element having different number of particles without charge in their nuclei.

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Energy that is carried as electro-magnetic waves or sub-atomic particles.

Renewable Energy
It broadly refers to energy sources that are naturally replenished, as opposed to fossil fuels such as oil, coal or natural gas that have finite reserves. Typical renewable energy sources include hydro power, wind, biomass, solar, geothermal, wave and tidal.

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Spent Nuclear Fuel
Nuclear fuel that has been used to extract energy by nuclear fission and can no longer be further used in the nuclear power reactor without further work. It is often simply known as spent fuel.

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Hydrogen containing two additional neutrons in its atomic nucleus. It is radioactive.

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Conversion Table
1 mBq = 0.001 Bq
1 GBq = 1,000,000,000 Bq
1 TBq = 1,000,000,000,000 Bq
1 µGy = 0.000,001 Gray

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