reply to post by Wrabbit2000
Hey rabbit. Sorry I did not reply to you sooner. I share a computer and can have sudden leaves that take me away from good sessions on the internet.
This is one of those. I replied to this post to answer your question about handling PU. Thanks for the links in your last reply about Litvinenko. I
had not read that book but remember the story. It makes perfect sense to compare the dangerous nature of alpha emitters with his demise. He ingested
the stuff. Like swallowing a tiny x ray machine that can't be turned off.
I have this link. Maybe you have seen it too. The pic and description of what this stuff does to living flesh.
This other pic is a simple diagram of the stages elements go through to become fuel rods.
The refined oxide in powder form is dangerous because if you handle that it could get on you (or in you). Once pressed into fuel pellets and made into
rods and fuel bundles it is less likely to shed material. Once it is exposed in a reactor core however it becomes highly dangerous to be anywhere
near. It is emitting massive amounts of gamma radiation.
Inside the spent fuel rod after being exposed inside the reactor core, the elements have undergone controlled fission and produced other elements.
This is where they get the plutonium from to make bombs. Further refining of spent fuel then produces the metal they make bomb pits out of. Once in
metallic refined form PU is "safe to handle" as it is not issuing much gamma just alpha which again, is safe to handle as long as it is done
All these processes to mine ore, refine it to produce fuel, expose it in a reactor and then further refine it to make bombs is the most insidious
dangerous process on the planet. It involves a lot of work and equipment, all of which become contaminated waste and must be buried, blah, blah. The
industry calls all this "safe" procedure. It is for the most part.
However, as soon as a reactor melts down and explodes allowing open air, uncontrolled, runaway chain reaction fission to occur... Then, if you use
seawater to "cool" the mess and flush it down the drain to the ocean...
A 100 tons of fuel in each reactor. Some portion volatilized by burning in the atmosphere, some washed into the sea, some still hot in the reactor (or
below it). Not good.
I have other links which are dry and techy of good people doing testing of soil samples and food with different detectors if you want to wade thru a
little I can present them to you. Sorry for the redundancy or if you already know this.