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Agricultural Applications

Political Stability and Food Security
There is perhaps nothing more fundamental to human survival than political stability and food security.

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Our struggle today and in the future is that world-wide population numbers have exploded within the past century, resulting in billions more mouths to feed.

With as much as 25 – 30% of the world’s food production being lost to insects, bacteria and rodents after harvesting, there is an enormous need to find new ways to increase food production and deliver it with minimum spoilage.

Nuclear technology uses radiation to improve the productivity of the entire food chain in a substantial manner.

Here are just a few examples:

Water Use and Soil Management

Pest Control

Animal Health and Productivity

Food Safety



Irradiation does not make food radioactive. Irradiated foods look and taste just like the fresh, raw food.

Here are some of the ways food irradiation is used in the U.S.:

  • Food for astronauts on space missions
  • Meals for open-heart hospital patients
  • In school cafeterias
  • Meals on international flights

Additional Resources:


University of Wisconsin Food Irradiation Education Group, “Food Irradiation Means Safer Food”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Food Facts: Food Irradiation”

IAEA, Joint FAO/IAEA Programme, “Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture

IAEA, “Improving Productivity in Agriculture”

*Source: FAO, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2017 p. 7

**UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO), & The World Bank, 2018

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