Ni-63 data sheet (download)

Russell Parris -

Nickel-63 data sheet


Physical Data


Maximum β energy:                 0.067 MeV

Transition probability:            100%

Half-Life:                                   100.0 years

Maximum range of β in air:    5-6cm




Since the beta radiation from nickel-63 will not penetrate the outer layers of the skin (maximum range ) it does not present a significant risk from external radiation. If nickel-63 compounds are ingested the majority of the activity will be excreted, in the faeces, within 24 hours. In the case of inhalation the fate of the material will depend on it’s chemical and physical form, but about half would usually be excreted in the faeces within 24 hours and the majority of the remainder will be excreted in the urine within a few days. (1)  


Occupational Limits (2)

                                                        Annual limit                                               Derived air

                                                        on intake (ALI)                                           concentration (DAC)       

___________________________________________________________________________________              Oral       3 x 108 Bq            -


            Inhalation                        Class D* 6 x 107  Bq                                   2 x 104 Bq  m-3

                                                        Class W* 1 x 108 Bq                                   4 x 104  Bq m-3 



Safety Warnings and Procedures


Suitable radiation and contamination monitoring instruments must be used when unpacking or using a source as an aid to minimising exposure to radiation. Thin end-window Geiger counters are suitable monitoring instruments for use with nickel-63.


Nickel-63 sources are not sealed sources. They should be handled with care to avoid abrasion to the active face.


Nickel-63 will gradually tarnish under normal atmospheric conditions due to exposure to air, aggravation by moisture and, in confined space, by the effect of beta radiation on air. It is recommended that nickel-63 sources should be stored under an inert atmosphere, such as dry argon, when not in use.


All radioactive products are dangerous if not handled, used, stored, transported or disposed of properly and in accordance with the appropriate regulations. Users must make themselves aware of and observe the local regulations or codes of practice which relate to such matters.


(1) NRPB  Publications GS7

(2)  based on 40 hour working week. ICRP Publication 30,1981.

            * Oxides, hydroxides and carbides of Ni63 are class W and all other commonly occurring compounds of nickel are class D.

Disclaimer - The “Safety Warnings and Procedures” above only apply if you extract the Radiation source from the Lonestar unit (not recommended). They do not apply to the Lonestar System as a whole.

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