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Unlike metals and most inorganic substances, organic materials are affected by all types of high-energy radiation. Because of this, the problem of establishing specifications and test procedures is not restricted to reactor use but is present whenever these materials are in a radiation field, such as processing plants for radioactive materials, storage of radioactive materials, hot cells, accelerators, etc. Nevertheless, reactors are our most important source of radiation, and the most complicated, and if we understand what happens in a reactor we will, for most engineering purposes, know what to expect from other sources of radiation. This discussion will, therefore. deal primarily with reactor radiation.
Solid State Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory,