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From: firstname.lastname@example.org (StevJensen)
Date: 31 Oct 2002 04:44:49 GMT
Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com
Subject: Re: eer
>wrote (in <email@example.com>) about 'eer', on
>Wed, 30 Oct 2002:
>>For how long would it be more energetically active?
>>You note that the energetic isotopes have short half lives.
>The well-known 10000 years is in the right ball-park.
At best that seems to be a grand oversimplification.
The charts I have seen show uSec, hours and days for many isotopes.
When you get up in the 10k year range then they seem to prevalent
in the environment anyway. (i.e.: Natural - another buzz word)
>>It seems, at least to me, that it must be missing something in the energy
>>department, otherwise there wouldn't be any point in removing the
>Its heat-generation is *uncontrollable*, unlike that of the original
>fuel. This is a *good* reason to eliminate it!
That sounds reasonable. Could they let them sit around for a few years
and then put them back in after the worst of the really short lived stuff
pops off? It would be my understanding that perhaps half of the original
U still remains in them.
>>A page on Google lists a half life of something around 200k years for
>>Pu239. If I had a block of it hidden on my desk would I be able to
>>tell it was there by measuring an increase in the background radiation?
>>Would I have to know exactly what the original background was
>>or would it be obvious?
>How big is the 'block'? A sugar-cube sized block would certainly give
>levels well above background. A brick could be above critical mass for
>the fission chain reaction, so as to eliminate your desk, you and much
>of the surrounding countryside.
Well, there might be an issue with getting a 10kg brick to my desk in the
first place. But for say a 10g sized block, if I tossed a sheet of tin foil
over it (or even if I didn't) would there be a real reason to care as long as I
avoided direct contact? In other words how close would a measurement
probe have to get before it recognized a level above background?
A 1/4 inch, an inch, a foot, 10 feet?
I wore a radium watch for years. That would bury a probe at 1/4 inch,
and was recognizable out to a couple inches.
Interestingly enough my arm hasn't fallen off yet.
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