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Enriched uranium found in Ohio school

 
Old 05-15-2019, 01:21 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Derrick Reynolds View Post
Nice cherry pick on the quote. The next sentence in the article is:



You obviously try to misrepresent everything about which you post.

I'm sure I'm not an expert, but back in my engineering days I worked for a chemical processing equipment manufacturer. The dryers we made were used in several locations in North America to dry "yellow cake", a sample of which was pictured in one of the articles posted above, it looks like a yellow paste. Yellow cake is the first intermediary between Uranium ore and nuclear fuel rods. So yeah, I have a few years of real-world experience with the first few stages of the refinement of Uranium. I have stood next to large amounts of yellow cake too, with the same precautions listed above, it is also not harmful to be around, so the yellow cake found at the school is not a big deal as far as the health risks to the kids., but I would be highly concerned as a parent in the school district wondering where such a thing would have come from.

I'm not familiar with Neptunium.
Neptunium is produced when uranium is hit with neutrons in an reactor. IOW, a byproduct of uranium fuel rods used in a nuclear reactor.

People are often very afraid of anything regarding things they are ignorant of, like radiation.

As Dr. King once said, "nothing is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity".
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:34 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by pdiddy972 View Post
You guys arguing this are ignoring that when uranium decays it produces other radioactive elements.

No we're not. People who study the stuff and have worked with it actually know what it transmutes into and the half-lives so we know theres little need to worry.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:36 PM
  #23  
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We worry about radon gas seeping up into our basements (lung cancer risk factor). Radon gas is an intermediate by-product as Uranium decays to lead. Does this story relate at all to exposure to radon gas?

From https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radon:
The actionable concentration of radon in a home varies depending on the organization doing the recommendation, for example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency encourages that action be taken at concentrations as low as 74 Bq/m3 (2 pCi/L), and the European Union recommends action be taken when concentrations reach 400 Bq/m3 (11 pCi/L) for old houses and 200 Bq/m3 (5 pCi/L) for new ones. On 8 July 2010 the UK's Health Protection Agency issued new advice setting a "Target Level" of 100 Bq/m3 whilst retaining an "Action Level" of 200 Bq/m3. The same levels (as UK) apply to Norway from 2010; in all new housings preventative measures should be taken against radon accumulation.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:40 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Peva View Post
We worry about radon gas seeping up into our basements (lung cancer risk factor). Radon gas is an intermediate by-product as Uranium decays to lead. Does this story relate at all to exposure to radon gas?

From https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radon:

The actionable concentration of radon in a home varies depending on the organization doing the recommendation, for example, the United States Environmental Protection Agency encourages that action be taken at concentrations as low as 74 Bq/m3 (2 pCi/L), and the European Union recommends action be taken when concentrations reach 400 Bq/m3 (11 pCi/L) for old houses and 200 Bq/m3 (5 pCi/L) for new ones. On 8 July 2010 the UK's Health Protection Agency issued new advice setting a "Target Level" of 100 Bq/m3 whilst retaining an "Action Level" of 200 Bq/m3. The same levels (as UK) apply to Norway from 2010; in all new housings preventative measures should be taken against radon accumulation.
You worry about Radon when there is a sufficient quantity of Uranium ore in the bedrock and the gas gets trapped in the crawlspace (for instance), typically only applies to mountainous areas or foothills. Not this situation.
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:45 PM
  #25  
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Put a dosineter on any regular teacher or student and I guarantee no one is "hot".

The article is a pile of piddily sensationalized garbage.
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:48 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by pdiddy972 View Post
You guys arguing this are ignoring that when uranium decays it produces other radioactive elements.
It does, over billions of years. That is why the Earth is billions of years old, and there is still a **** ton of Uranium ore in the ground.
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:54 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by pdiddy972 View Post
You guys arguing this are ignoring that when uranium decays it produces other radioactive elements.
"You guys, again??

It is evident that you use that term to objectify everyone that is incredibly smarter than yourself.

How many people are going for radioactive poisoning treatment?

Zero? That's the full-worth of the article
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:07 PM
  #28  
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Back in the 50's our family visited a uranium mine, I recall that it was in New Mexico, but I may be wrong. The tour guide gave me a few pieces of yellowcake and it spent more than 10 years in a cigar box in my bedroom. I don't think I suffered any ill effects, but I'll need to ask this other head that I have growing out of my left arm to see if I'm correct.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:16 PM
  #29  
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USA Today and Newsweek are complete **** rags.

There's a bit more, still lacking details in this report.

https://www.dispatch.com/news/201905...mination-fears

Bottom line, reading between the lines, a couple of anti-nuclear people are upset about the clean up of the diffusion plant in the area that's been shutdown since 2001.

There are air monitoring devices all over the area. Extremely low levels of the two elements were found by the monitoring. The activist lady took 80 samples of water and soil from the area and worked with an activist professor from AZ, who apparently did the analysis himself and claims there is enriched uranium, neptunium and plutonium in the samples.

No confirmation, no amounts, no specific locations of the supposed contamination. It would appear that the amounts of nucleotides that the official monitoring have found are vanishingly small. The activists are claiming it is all a cover up.

If small amounts of these materials are present in the environment and soil, it would be easy to track detectable amounts of it in dust on the shoes of people. A school would be a prime place for tracked-in contaminants, lots and lots of feet running around in the dirt.

Unfortunately none of the stories are tractable in the sense of verifiable locations and amounts of contaminants. The articles make it sound as if a brick of glowing hot weapons-grade uranium was sitting in the middle of the school. That sells more clicks on the web pages, but it is a lie.

Neptunium-237 also comes from smoke detectors. The radioactive material in a smoke detector is Americium, but it decays to Neptunium-237. It takes about 27 years for 5% of the Americium in a smoke detector to decay into Neptunium.

We are very, very good at detecting minuscule amounts of radioactive elements. They're easy to detect, and due to military and industrial importance, the technology to find such is very well developed.

But the reports are sorely lacking in any specifics.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:20 PM
  #30  
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Some of these articles are very poorly written, from a lay scientific perspective.

I'm pretty sure they didn't find enriched uranium in the school. That is, they didn't find a rod of reactor fuel lying around. I think they detected U-235.

Natural uranium is over 99% U-238, which cannot sustain a nuclear chain reaction. Less than 1% is U-235, but it is the important isotope because it is fissile (can support chain reaction). "Enriched uranium" is the material produced by removing some of the U-238 so that the proportion of U-235 rises to a few percent for use in some reactors, or up to 85% for use in weapons.

Since nobody is giving a specific location where the uranium was "found" (i.e. in a science lab closet?) nor saying how highly enriched it was, I suspect that its presence was detected, not that a chunk of it was found.

Furthermore, uranium, plutonium and neptunium have been detected in the soil, water, and air in the surrounding community, so the obvious culprit is the Portsmouth Gasseous Diffusion Plant just 2 or 3 miles from the school, where enriched uranium is processed.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/ohio-midd...e-material.amp

Last edited by Walford; 05-15-2019 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:31 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by larrysb View Post
Neptunium-237 also comes from smoke detectors. The radioactive material in a smoke detector is Americium, but it decays to Neptunium-237. It takes about 27 years for 5% of the Americium in a smoke detector to decay into Neptunium.
Well, hell! We should be relatively "crawling" with Np-237 as most old smoke detectors are simply chucked into a landfill. It ought to be detectable just about everywhere with sensitive-enough equipment.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:50 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Derrick Reynolds View Post
Nice cherry pick on the quote. The next sentence in the article is:



You obviously try to misrepresent everything about which you post.

I'm sure I'm not an expert, but back in my engineering days I worked for a chemical processing equipment manufacturer. The dryers we made were used in several locations in North America to dry "yellow cake", a sample of which was pictured in one of the articles posted above, it looks like a yellow paste. Yellow cake is the first intermediary between Uranium ore and nuclear fuel rods. So yeah, I have a few years of real-world experience with the first few stages of the refinement of Uranium. I have stood next to large amounts of yellow cake too, with the same precautions listed above, it is also not harmful to be around, so the yellow cake found at the school is not a big deal as far as the health risks to the kids., but I would be highly concerned as a parent in the school district wondering where such a thing would have come from.

I'm not familiar with Neptunium.
Found in the rings around uranus.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:38 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Walford View Post
Some of these articles are very poorly written, from a lay scientific perspective.

I'm pretty sure they didn't find enriched uranium in the school. That is, they didn't find a rod of reactor fuel lying around. I think they detected U-235.

Natural uranium is over 99% U-238, which cannot sustain a nuclear chain reaction. Less than 1% is U-235, but it is the important isotope because it is fissile (can support chain reaction). "Enriched uranium" is the material produced by removing some of the U-238 so that the proportion of U-235 rises to a few percent for use in some reactors, or up to 85% for use in weapons.

Since nobody is giving a specific location where the uranium was "found" (i.e. in a science lab closet?) nor saying how highly enriched it was, I suspect that its presence was detected, not that a chunk of it was found.

Furthermore, uranium, plutonium and neptunium have been detected in the soil, water, and air in the surrounding community, so the obvious culprit is the Portsmouth Gasseous Diffusion Plant just 2 or 3 miles from the school, where enriched uranium is processed.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/ohio-midd...e-material.amp
In short, they may have found (at best) a little 2-5% U-235 (low enriched uranium) vs the 20-85% U-235 that is weapons grade fissile material (highly enriched uranium).
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:53 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by woodman300 View Post
Found in the rings around uranus.
Sure, as far as I know! My professional involvement stopped at the yellow cake level, so any real-world knowledge is completely focused on the front end of the process. I've read about the nasty **** that spent fuel rods are made of, but never dealt with them in real life. Now that I am semi-retired, I'm pretty sure I will never have to!
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:19 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Derrick Reynolds View Post
This is one of the worst articles I have ever seen. I have held Uranium ore in my bare hand, it more or less looks like dirt. The radiation it emits is essentially 100% alpha particles, which are basically a Helium nucleus. As far as sub-atomic particles go, they are huge, heavy, and slow-moving, so much so that they are unable to penetrate the layer of dead skin cells that coat the outside of the human body. Keep it away from your eyes, and don't inhale any of the dust, and the health risk to being around it is essentially zero.

FWIW: I last visited the Grand Canyon in 1977.
Uranium ore used to be in laboratory rock sample kits in geology....
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:24 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by TCracingCA View Post
At the Griffith Park Observatory for years they had a display of Periodic Table samples with a chunk of Uranium!
Did hildabeast sell that too?
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:45 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by vader86 View Post
You worry about Radon when there is a sufficient quantity of Uranium ore in the bedrock and the gas gets trapped in the crawlspace (for instance), typically only applies to mountainous areas or foothills. Not this situation.
Thanks for the information.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:58 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Walford View Post
Well, hell! We should be relatively "crawling" with Np-237 as most old smoke detectors are simply chucked into a landfill. It ought to be detectable just about everywhere with sensitive-enough equipment.

It is.

Not kidding. Radioactive materials are abundant in the environment. Both naturally occurring and man-made. They're literally everywhere. It makes it hard to find things like leaks or accidental low-level contamination.
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