The chemical products made in a cyclotron target are a combined result of the chemical effects of the nuclear transformation that made the radioactive atom and the bulk radiolysis in the target. This review uses some well-known examples to understand how hot atom chemistry explains the primary products from a nuclear reaction and then how radiation chemistry is exploited to set up the optimal product for radiosynthesis. It also addresses the chemical effects of nuclear decay. There are important principles that are common to hot atom chemistry and radiopharmaceutical chemistry. Both emphasize short-lived radionuclides and manipulation of high specific activity nuclides. Furthermore, they both rely on radiochromatographic separation for identification of no-carrieradded products.