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Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal

Nuclear Stability

Graph showing the stable nuclides
Graph showing the stable nuclides  
 Most combinations of Z and N produce an unstable nucleus. These nuclei will typically decay to try to form a more stable nucleus. There are various different modes of decay depending upon the particular nuclide of interest. Radioactive nuclides are referred to as radionuclides. Specific modes of decay and the energy produced by those decays will be discussed later. The following video discusses the physics of nuclear stability in more detail.

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