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is plutonium 238 dangerous

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How can it hurt me? The different isotopes have different “half-lives” – the time it takes to lose half of its radioactivity. Plutonium can be found in the environment in several forms called isotopes. Their radiation causes DNA damage in tissue, which then boosts the risk of […] Plutonium-238, plutonium-239, and plutonium-240 are alpha emitters. Plutonium-241 decays, by emitting a low-energy beta electron, to Americium-241, whose half-life of 430 years is much longer. It is produced when uranium absorbs an atomic particle. Scientists knew that the most common isotope, uranium 238, was not suitable for a nuclear weapon. When mixed in soil on the ground, these plutonium isotopes pose a potential risk that is predominantly from inhalation and ingestion. These four radionuclides have radioactive periods or half-lives ranging from 14.1 to 24,000 years. How ever heavy metals get stored in the liver and never get passed through your digestive system so once you eat plutonium you get poisioned as … Because it emits alpha particles, plutonium is most dangerous when inhaled. As a result, the potential for direct exposure from these isotopes is minimal. The Demon Core, a pure metallic plutonium sphere 89.1 mm in diameter, mass 6.2 kg, killed two people — Louis Slotin and Harry Daghlian — in two separate supercriticality accidents. (i) Plutonium-238 is unlikely to cause any harm if it is outside the body but is likely to kill if it is inside the body. Firstly you are incorrect if you think plutonium - 238 is safe when its out side the body - its not and its radio active. For instance, plutonium-238 is about 270 times more radioactive than plutonium-239 per unit of weight. These are all "fissionable" – the atom's nucleus can easily split apart if it is struck by a neutron. Where they are highly dangerous is if they are inhaled. However, uranium 235 has a high fission probability. Small amounts of plutonium occur naturally, but large amounts have been produced by man in nuclear reactors. Plutonium is a silvery-gray metal that becomes yellowish when exposed to air. But the radioactivity per unit weight varies according to the isotope. Plutonium is a silvery-white radioactive metal that exists as a solid under normal conditions. The most common plutonium isotopes are plutonium-238 … Other plutonium isotopes that emit alpha radiation, like plutonium-238, have similar health effects as plutonium-239, when considered per unit of radioactivity. What are the weaknesses of plutonium? Apart from dangerous radiation, Plutonium-238's decay produces a lot of heat, and does so for a long time—centuries, in fact. The most abundant isotopes are the 238, 239, 240 and 241. Why Uranium and Plutonium? Plutonium-238 is an alpha-emitting isotope that emits a negligible amount of gamma rays; it can be manufactured to harness its heat of radioactive decay to operate thermoelectric and thermionic devices that are small, lightweight, and long-lived (the half-life of plutonium-238 is 87.7 years). (d) Plutonium-238 is highly dangerous. Plutonium 238, 239 and 240 are highly radioactive but their radiation is in alpha particles, which only travels very short distances and cannot penetrate human skin. Most plutonium in the environment is in the form of microscopic particles that are the remnants of nuclear weapons testing and nuclear reactor accidents. Apart plutonium-241, these isotopes are alpha emitters. Half Life - The half lives of the various plutonium isotopes are as follows: 238 239 4 240 3 241 Pu = 87.74 y; Pu = 2.41 X 10 y; Pu = 6.56 X 10 y; Pu = 14.29 y; There are five "common" isotopes of plutonium, Pu-238, Pu-239, Pu-240, Pu-241, and Pu-242. There is a fairly high probability that an incident neutron would be captured to form uranium 239 instead of causing a fission. A tiny amount taken into the body is enough to kill a human.

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