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  • Technetium is a chemical element with symbol Tc and atomic number 43. It is the first element in the periodic table 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. In 1937, technetium became the first predominantly artificial element to be produced, hence its name. 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.

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