Radioactive Elements


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radioactive elements Plutonium




Plutonium, Our Country's Only Feasible Solution
Should we begin to manufacture one of the most destructive and infamous
substances on the face on the Earth once again? The engineers say yes, but
the public says no. The United States stopped making this element with the
ban on manufacturing nuclear weapons. But with the continuing problem with
our ever diminishing energy sources, some want us to begin using more
nuclear energy and less energy from natural resources. This paper is going
to discuss what plutonium is, the advantages and disadvantages of its use,
and why we should think about restarting our production of this useful
After the United States dropped "Fat Man" and "Little Boy" on Japan ending
World War II, the public has had some type of understanding about the
power of plutonium and its devastating properties, but that is all anyone
After WWII, Americans started to think about what the atomic bomb could do
to the U.S. and its people. When anyone mentioned plutonium or the word
"nuclear" the idea of Hiroshima or Nagasaki being destroyed was the first
thing people thought about. No one could even ponder the idea that it
could be used for other more constructive things like sources of energy or
to kept a person's heart beating. Then we started to build more reactors
and produce more of the substance but mostly for our nuclear weapons
Along with reactors, sometimes comes a meltdown which can produce harmful
effects if it isn't controlled quickly enough. After such instances as the
Hanford, Washington reactor meltdown and the accident in the U.S.S.R. at
the Chernobyl site, no one wanted to hear about the use of plutonium. The
United States government banned nuclear testing and also ended the
production of plutonium.(Ref. 5)  Now we are in a dilemma.
We are in need of future sources of energy to power our nation. We are
running out of coal and oil to run our power plants.(Ref. 7) We also need
it to further our space exploration program. People need to understand the
advantages to using plutonium and that the disadvantages are not as
catastrophic as they seem. With the turn of the century on its way, the
reemergence of plutonium production will need to be a reality for us to
In 1941, a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered
something that would change our planet forever. The man's name, Glenn T.
Seaborg, and what did he discover?, the element plutonium.(ref. 10)
Plutonium, or Pu #94 on the periodic table, is one of the most unstable
elements on the earth. It is formed when Uranium 235, another highly
unstable element, absorbs a neutron. Plutonium is a silvery-white metal
that has a very high density of 19.816 g/cm3.(ref. 10 )  It has been
rarely found in the earth's crust but the majority of the substance has to
be produced in the cores of nuclear reactors.
Plutonium can be found fifteen different forms, or isotopes and their mass
number can range from 232-246.(ref. 13)  Radionuclide batteries used in
pacemakers use Pu-238, while Pu-239 is used in reactors and for Nuclear
weapons.(ref. 13) This paper will focus on the isotopes Pu-238 and Pu-239.
Plutonium can be very advantageous for the United States. It can be used
for several purposes. The three major advantages to using this element are
for an energy source, power for nuclear propulsion in space exploration
and thermo-electric generators in cardiac pacemakers.
The first use for plutonium, nuclear power, is obviously the most
beneficial use. Plutonium 239 can be used to power nuclear reactors. The
average nuclear reactor contains about 325 kilograms of plutonium within
its uranium fuel.(ref. 7)  This complements the uranium fission process.
With the continually decreasing supply of coal and oil to power our
nation, we need a substitute to complement our energy needs and right now
the best replacement is that of nuclear energy.(ref. 7) At the moment
there are one hundred and ten nuclear power plants in the United States
and they produce one-fifth of the nations electricity. Nuclear energy has
been proven to be the cheapest, safest, cleanest and probably the most
Nuclear power plants do not use as much fuel as the plants burning coal
oil. One ton of uranium produces more energy than several million tons of
coal and plutonium can produce much more energy than uranium.(ref. 12)
Also the burning of coal and oil pollute our air and the last thing we
need is more pollution to worsen the greenhouse effect.
Nuclear power plants cannot contaminate the environment because they do
not ... more

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Atomic Bomb

The information contained in this file is strictly for academic use alone. Outlaw Labs will bear no responsibility for any use otherwise. It would be wise to note that the personnel who design and construct these devices are skilled physicists and are more knowledgeable in these matters than any layperson can ever hope to be... Should a layperson attempt to build a device such as this, chances are s/he would probably kill his/herself not by a nuclear detonation, but rather through radiation exposure. We here at Outlaw Labs do not recommend using this file beyond the realm of casual or academic curiosity. ============================================================================ ----------------------- -+ Table of Contents +- ----------------------- I. The History of the Atomic Bomb ------------------------------ A). Development (The Manhattan Project) B). Detonation 1). Hiroshima 2). Nagasaki 3). Byproducts of atomic detonations 4). Blast Zones II. Nuclear Fission/Nuclear Fusion ------------------------------ A). Fission (A-Bomb) & Fusion (H-Bomb) B). U-235, U-238 and Plutonium III. The Mechanism of The Bomb ------------------------- A). Altimeter B). Air Pressure Detonator C). Detonating Head(s) D). Explosive Charge(s) E). Neutron Deflector F). Uranium & Plutonium G). Lead Shield H). Fuses IV. The Diagram of The Bomb ----------------------- A). The Uranium Bomb B). The Plutonium Bomb ============================================================================ -------------------------------- File courtesy of Outlaw Labs -------------------------------- I. The History of the Atomic Bomb ------------------------------ On August 2nd 1939, just before the beginning of World War II, Albert Einstein wrote to then President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Einstein and several other scientists told Roosevelt of efforts in Nazi Germany to purify U-235 with which might in turn be used to build an atomic bomb. It was shortly thereafter that the United States Government began the serious undertaking known only then as the Manhattan Project. Simply put, the Manhattan Project was committed to expedient research and production that would produce a viable atomic bomb. The most complicated issue to be addressed was the production of ample amounts of 'enriched' uranium to sustain a chain reaction. At the time, Uranium-235 was very hard to extract. In fact, the ratio of conversion from Uranium ore to Uranium metal is 500:1. An additional drawback is that the 1 part of Uranium that is finally refined from the ore consists of over 99% Uranium-238, which is practically useless for an atomic bomb. To make it even more difficult, U-235 and U-238 are precisely similar in their chemical makeup. This proved to be as much of a challenge as separating a solution of sucrose from a solution of glucose. No ordinary chemical extraction could separate the two isotopes. Only mechanical methods could effectively separate U-235 from U-238. Several scientists at Columbia University managed to solve this dilemma. A massive enrichment laboratory/plant was constructed at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. H.C. Urey, along with his associates and colleagues at Columbia University, devised a system that worked on the principle of gaseous diffusion. Following this process, Ernest O. Lawrence (inventor of the Cyclotron) at the University of California in Berkeley implemented a process involving magnetic separation of the two isotopes. Following the first two processes, a gas centrifuge was used to further separate the lighter U-235 from the heavier non-fissionable U-238 by their mass. Once all of these procedures had been completed, all that needed to be done was to put to the test the entire concept behind atomic fission. [For more information on these procedures of refining Uranium, see Section 3.] Over the course of six years, ranging from 1939 to 1945, more than 2 billion dollars were spent on the Manhattan Project. The formulas for refining Uranium and putting together a working bomb were created and seen to their logical ends by some of the greatest minds of our time. Among these people who unleashed the power of the atomic bomb was J. Robert Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer was the major force behind the Manhattan Project. He literally ran the show and saw to it that all of the great minds working on this project made their brainstorms work. He oversaw the entire project from its conception to its completion. Finally the day came when all at Los Alamos would find out whether or not The Gadget (code-named as such during its development) was either going to be the colossal dud ... more

radioactive elements

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