AW: [SPAM][ RadSafe ] RE: What Are Radionuclear Materials?

Franz Schönhofer franz.schoenhofer at
Mon Sep 21 11:55:31 CDT 2009


It might be 10 or 15 years ago, that "Health Physics" changed radically to
SI Units. So radically indeed that they even banned the cSv, cGy, not to
talk about the Ci in manuscripts submitted. The introduction of SI units was
an international task, almost world wide accepted. Unfortunately there is
still a country in this world, small indeed when taking the surface and the
population into account, which does not follow the international rules on SI
units .....

Inventing new units and terms seems to be a favorite pasttime for people who
have enough time for it. Sometimes they are nationalists, who want
scientists of their country to become immortal by naming a unit after them.
What became of the "Taylor"? Sometimes they obviously like to play - why
should "radioactive materials" be renamed to "radionuclear materials"? I
cannot see any reason.

I can only repeat that we have so many terms already, that we do not need
new ones, which do not improve the old ones very significantly. It is
already now difficult enough to distinguish different terms.

Best regards,


Franz Schoenhofer, PhD
MinRat i.R.
Habicherg. 31/7
A-1160 Wien/Vienna

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] Im Auftrag
von Strickert, Rick
Gesendet: Montag, 21. September 2009 18:00
An: Doug Aitken; 'Scott, Bobby'; radsafe at
Betreff: RE: [SPAM][ RadSafe ] RE: What Are Radionuclear Materials?

> So I think this position is a bit "we know best" rather than 
> "let's try and be as clear as possible".


The "let's try and be as clear as possible" viewpoint appears to be the case
from reading the Foreword and the Introduction in the linked IAEA Glossary,
which include the purposes (pp. 3-4), the limited scope of the Glossary (pp.
4-5), and the statement (p.7):

"Some terms and usages that have been used in the past and/or are used in
the publications of other organizations, but whose use is discouraged in
IAEA publications, are included in the Safety Glossary. Such terms are
listed in square brackets, and should be used only if they are essential to
refer to other publications; alternative terms for use in IAEA publications
are recommended."

The IAEA also encourages feedback on changes in terminology and usage for
future Glossary revisions.  The IAEA includes a link to a change form for
submitting suggestions on the webpage,

Rick Strickert
Austin, TX

-----Original Message-----
From: Doug Aitken [mailto:jdaitken at] 
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 10:22 AM
To: Strickert, Rick; 'Scott, Bobby'; radsafe at
Subject: RE: [SPAM][ RadSafe ] RE: What Are Radionuclear Materials?

I can understand the position. However, is not all material (unstable -
radioactive - or not,  in reality "nuclear" (as in contains a nucleus...).
It only becomes radioactive if the nucleus is unstable... 

So I think this position is a bit "we know best" rather than "let's try and
be as clear as possible".
Just because "nuclear" as an adjective (nuclear energy, etc) is clear, it
does not preclude (in my simple, non-professional mind) make it the only
correct usage. 

And as for the statements " Radionuclear has also been used as a journalese
shorthand form for 'nuclear and/or radiological' - what is wrong with that
(other than the use of the semi-arrogant "journalese" - as in you dummies
have no right to mess with our lexicon...). And do they precisely define the
distinction between "nuclear" and radiological (or radioactive - as they use
the two terms in the same sentence...... )

Oh, well. I guess I am just having a bit of fun. We must remember that the
English language is a living thing and "usage" changes almost daily. If the
entire US establishment embraces the term "nucular", I don't feel too bad
about the use of radionuclear..

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