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Thread: Iowa State University has lost something

  1. #1
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Westland, MI

    Default Iowa State University has lost something

    The NRC has dinged Iowa State University for losing track of some "radioactive material."

    1 gram of weapon grade plutonium.

    Inspection report....
    Dr. Mordrid
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  2. #2
    Super MURCer cjolley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Oklahoma City, OK


    I wonder what kind of container it was in.

  3. #3
    Super MURCer MultimediaMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Bentonville, Arkansas, USA


    This is in Idaho. The US Navy's Reactor training facility is there as well.

    As far as can be determined, this was a book keeping error, not a handling error. The container, if it was disposed of, was sealed (pure plutonium metal is pyrophoric and very poisonous), it is far safer (and more likely) to store it in an aqueous solution like Tributyl Phosphate (as part of the PUREX process)... if it was, it is fairly stable chemically-speaking as long as it in solution or in an oxidized state. This reminds me of a slightly humorous story related to lost nuclear material: back in World War II a British Scientist in Canada spilled Britain's entire supply of plutonium (10mg) onto a desk... he allowed the solution to dry on the desk and sawed out the spilled area. He placed the sawed out section under a hood and burned the wood, and managed to extract 9.5 of the 10mg from the soot and ashes.
    Hey, Donny! We got us a German who wants to die for his country... Oblige him. - Lt. Aldo Raine

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