Not all nuclear research has been applied exclusively to producing energy. The ideas behind splitting the atom and nuclear fission have been applied to everything from fighting insects to curing cancer. Here are the top five fields of application.

At the diagnosis stage, nuclear medicine utilizes radiopharmaceuticals to emit gamma rays from within the body to recognize a number of conditions. These concepts are utilized in everything from computed tomography (CT scans) to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can indicate tumors in various organs and study blood circulation and bones.

Over a quarter of food harvested is lost to due to spoilage before it can be consumed, particularly in hot climates. The process of food irradiation, which exposes it to bacteria-killing gamma rays, allows for greater shelf life by delaying spoilage and ripening for fruits and vegetables.

Consumer Products
You’d be surprised at how many common household products depend on a small amount of radioactive material. These include clocks, watches, smoke detectors and non-stick materials, which utilize the natural properties of radioisotopes. Where would we be without all these things?

The process of carbon dating involves utilizing the properties of radiocarbon to determine the relative age of many materials. This data is of key interest to various geologists, architects, hydrologists and other scientists and specialists involved in construction.

Radioisotope thermal generators have frequently been utilized on space mission to generate electricity. These include the Opportunity Mars, Cassini (Saturn), New Horizons (Pluto) and various other missions to outer space. Nuclear power may be one of our best hopes for colonizing other planets.