What is the activity of plutonium?


What is the activity of plutonium?

Its maximum activity, reached, after 73 years, is about 3% of the initial activity of plutonium-241. The fissile property of plutonium-239 and the ability to produce with reactors relatively large amounts of it has led to its use for nuclear weapons and nuclear energy.

How do you calculate the specific activity of natural uranium?

The Health Physics Manual of Good Practices for Uranium Facilities’ (EGG-2530) provides the following equation for calculating the specific activity (µCi/g) from the uranium enrichment (weight percent 235U): S = (0.4+0.38E+ 0.0034E²) (1) where: S = specific activity (µCi/g), and E = weight % 235 U.

Can u 238 undergo fission?

Uranium-238 and thorium-232 (and some other fissionable materials) cannot maintain a self-sustaining fission explosion, but these isotopes can be made to fission by an externally maintained supply of fast neutrons from fission or fusion reactions.

Why is plutonium reactive?

It is a member of the actinide series in Group 3 of the periodic table. Plutonium is chemically reactive. It tarnishes in air, taking on a yellow cast when oxidized. It dissolves in hydrochloric, hydriodic, and perchloric acids and reacts with the halogens, carbon, nitrogen, and silicon.

What is specific activity of a radioisotope?

Specific activity of a radioisotope is defined as the amount of radioactivity or the decay rate of a particular radionuclide per unit mass of radionuclide. Specific activity of a radioisotope is given by the formula: 1. Wλ×N. 2.

What is the specific activity of Co 60?

Remember that one curie will undergo 37 billion (3.7×1010) decays per second: So one gram of Co-60 gives us 1132 Ci – this is the specific activity of Co-60.

How does uranium-238 become uranium-239?

By capturing a neutron, uranium-238 becomes uranium-239 that rapidly changes by beta radiation into neptunium-239. This neptunium is transformed then by beta radiation, after 3 days on average, into a new nucleus: plutonium-239. This radionuclide is fissile, like uranium-235.

What makes plutonium unique?

Unlike most metals, plutonium is not a good conductor of heat or electricity. It has a low melting point and an unusually high boiling point. Plutonium can form alloys and intermediate compounds with most other metals, and compounds with a variety of other elements.

Why does U-238 not undergo fission?

U- 238 has an even mass, and odd nuclei are more fissile because the extra neutron adds energy – more than what is required to fission the resulting nucleus. because of the large amount of energy needed, U- 238 will not normally undergo fission in a nuclear reactor.

Is plutonium highly reactive?

It is chemically reactive. A relatively large piece of plutonium is warm to the touch because of the energy given off in alpha decay. Larger pieces will produce enough heat to boil water. The metal readily dissolves in concentrated hydrochloric acid, hydroiodic acid, or perchloric acid.