Technetium

Technetium is the chemical element with atomic number 43 and symbol Tc. It is the lowest atomic number element without any stable isotopes; every form of it is radioactive. Nearly all technetium is produced synthetically and only minute amounts are found in nature. Naturally occurring technetium occurs as a spontaneous fission product in uranium ore or by neutron capture in molybdenum ores. The chemical properties of this silvery gray, crystalline transition metal are intermediate between rhenium and manganese.

Many of technetium's properties were predicted by Dmitri Mendeleev before the element was discovered. Mendeleev noted a gap in his periodic table and gave the undiscovered element the provisional name ekamanganese (Em). In 1937, technetium (specifically the technetium-97 isotope) became the first predominantly artificial element to be produced, hence its name (from the Greek τεχνητός, meaning "artificial").

Its short-lived gamma ray-emitting nuclear isomer—technetium-99m—is used in nuclear medicine for a wide variety of diagnostic tests. Technetium-99 is used as a gamma ray-free source of beta particles. Long-lived technetium isotopes produced commercially are by-products of fission of uranium-235 in nuclear reactors and are extracted from nuclear fuel rods. Because no isotope of technetium has a half-life longer than 4.2 million years (technetium-98), its detection in 1952 in red giants, which are billions of years old, helped bolster the theory that stars can produce heavier elements.

Read more about Technetium:  Occurrence and Production, Precautions

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Technetium Star
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Technetium-99 - In The Environment
... The long half-life of technetium-99 and its ability to form an anionic species makes it (along with 129I) a major concern when considering long-term disposal of high-level radioactive waste ... For this reason, the environmental chemistry of technetium is an active area of research ... Lab results using the NDTB-1 crystals removed approximately 96 percent of technetium-99 ...
Technetium - Precautions
... Technetium plays no natural biological role and is not normally found in the human body ... Technetium is produced in quantity by nuclear fission, and spreads more readily than many radionuclides ... organ weights, and food consumption could be detected for rats which ingested up to 15 µg of technetium-99 per gram of food for several weeks ...