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Author: Subject: Surface preparation of uranium and thorium metal
Aemornion
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[*] posted on 5-11-2017 at 08:31
Surface preparation of uranium and thorium metal


All,

I have some oxidized hunks of uranium and thorium which I would like to clean and then seal within glass under argon.

Anyone know of a convienent way to do this which won't further react either of the base metals?


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Bert
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[*] posted on 5-11-2017 at 08:58


Could you please indicate how much material you are planning to work on, and describe your personal safety procedures in relation to handling and working on these metals?





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Aemornion
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[*] posted on 6-11-2017 at 08:44


Thanks for the reply Bert,

Under 5g for both elements, thorium is a small thin sheet, uranium is in lump form.

I would perform any reactions within my glovebox, Under argon. (thus preventing further oxidation)
Solutions containing the removed oxides would be turned over to a university contact for disposal. Similarly the glove box will be lined and wiped down while sealed. Materials used will be bagged sealed and turned over for disposal.
Cleaned metals will be sealed within an ampoule under argon and eventually displayed along side all the other elements.
I have the appropriate detection equipment on hand, to verify contamination or lack thereof.

Cheers


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PHILOU Zrealone
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[*] posted on 6-11-2017 at 17:51


Quote: Originally posted by Aemornion  
Thanks for the reply Bert,

Under 5g for both elements, thorium is a small thin sheet, uranium is in lump form.

I would perform any reactions within my glovebox, Under argon. (thus preventing further oxidation)
Solutions containing the removed oxides would be turned over to a university contact for disposal. Similarly the glove box will be lined and wiped down while sealed. Materials used will be bagged sealed and turned over for disposal.
Cleaned metals will be sealed within an ampoule under argon and eventually displayed along side all the other elements.
I have the appropriate detection equipment on hand, to verify contamination or lack thereof.

Cheers



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Aemornion
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[*] posted on 6-11-2017 at 18:59


Each sample doesn't exceed 5000cpm with it sitting directly on top of the Johnson pancake inside its jar,The 5-6 inches of nominal clearance one would normally have combined with some glass and the glovebox wall means i'm not terribly worried about the radiation, and even for the brief intervals of handling the jar its in, i'm still not worried about the radiation. The reactor operator i'm working with agrees. We are more concerned with the dissolved oxides being disposed of properly and the oxides not contaminating everything.

Now if i was working with some of the other things i have, of course i would have some lead, in some cases lots of lead.

Its been suggested by a friend that a dilute nitric acid rinse followed by a quick DI water rise followed by an ultra dry 99.99% alcohol rinse might meet by goals for the uranium.
Does this fall into line with what anyone else would do.
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stygian
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[*] posted on 7-11-2017 at 09:30


Those actinide oxides will dissolve in alkali wont they? bicarbonate and a toothbrush *might* just work, or maybe some commercial polish. Time to break out the brasso!
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Radium212
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[*] posted on 2-1-2018 at 14:30


Where did you get them, just wondering?
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Sigmatropic
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[*] posted on 2-1-2018 at 14:59


Not the best of sources but you might be interested in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khfRKnLj-54
It mentions washing with conc. nitric acid.
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Bert
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