Most of the properties of materials (including all of chemistry) are modelled by assuming atomic nuclei to be indivisible particles. You can derive almost all chemistry and properties of materials from the laws of quantum mechanics and the masses and charges of electrons and nuclei.
Nuclear physics, on the other hand, is all about the internals of the nuclei and (except under extreme conditions) a nucleus is unaffected by electrons and other nuclei (even in electron capture the particular chemical configuration of an atom doesn't affect its decay rate significantly).
This is useful in some ways - you can replace some nuclei with different isotopes (for example in nuclear medicine) without changing the chemistry. Of course, once it decays (other than gamma decay) the nuclear charge will change and the chemistry will be different.
Suppose that nuclear decay rates did depend significantly on chemical configuration - what would the consequences be? The obvious consequence is that it would be possible to make nuclear weapons that are more difficult to detect, since they could be made non-radioactive until they undergo a chemical reaction.
More subtly, there would be a whole new spectrum of chemical processes made possible by the storage of energy in (and release of energy from) the atomic nuclei. This could lead to new (cleaner, safer) forms of nuclear power, and all sorts of other interesting applications.
This is all wild speculation of course, but this suggests there is still much that we don't understand about atomic decay processes.