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Hunterman2244
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[*] posted on 20-7-2018 at 18:02
Cheap radioisotope sources


In my perpetual quest for knowledge I have expanded into radiochemistry. Are there any cheap(or free) sources of radioactive elements? I know of thorium lantern mantles and tig rods. Money is hard to come by, so I want to spend well.
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Sulaiman
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[*] posted on 21-7-2018 at 00:17


Americium from smoke alarms

There is little point in doing radiochemistry if you do not have radiation meters,
then you can go prospecting for Uranium glassware and others.

Have you already ordered your lead-lined undergarments?
(Ionising radiation + Gonads = A Poor Choice)

There are so many restrictions yet so few opportunities to experiment for an amateur
that I suggest you re-think your direction.

[Edited on 21-7-2018 by Sulaiman]
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[*] posted on 21-7-2018 at 03:32


I'm not quite sure that I agree, Sulaiman.

One place I would really like to see looked at is bioaccumulation of radioactivity. It is well within amateur means.

I am thinking find some mildly radioactive granitic soil, of the kind that is abundant around many of our cities - I know people who grow vegetables in it.

Then look at which common plants accumulate isotopes from it.
Ash some, then count the ashes with a reasonable counter.

It would give us all some good ideas of what not to eat, come the apocalypse. :D

If you live somewhere a bit under-explored, unlike the US and most of Europe, you may find something very interesting indeed. Quite patentable too, if it is unknown, as there must be a few contaminated sites out there.

I would also look at things like Alyssum, which are known to accumulate some heavy metals and have been suggested as bioremediators.

All you would be looking for is a 2-3x increase in specific activity with respect to normal plants to warrant follow up.

As far as cheap sources? Brazil nuts accumulate radium, and apparently can get quite hot. Anything with zirconium is good for beta, as for welding rods for alpha.

Have fun and stay safe!
H.
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Sulaiman
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[*] posted on 21-7-2018 at 03:51


You may be correct, but the original question was all wrong,
starting with acquisition of radiation sources rather than protection, measurement, storage and disposal, regulatory and transport concerns etc.
Until those issues are covered I consider it unwise to encourage or enable the acquisition of radioisotopes.

I myself no longer keep radioisotopes, G-M tubes etc.
just my diy spinthariscope remains,
and I worked for Radiation Dynamics and Harwell so I'm not an anti-nuclear nutcase.

Hopefully Hunterman2244 will come back and argue his case and maybe I'll be more positive ?
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[*] posted on 21-7-2018 at 04:11


Quote: Originally posted by Sulaiman  
Americium from smoke alarms

There is little point in doing radiochemistry if you do not have radiation meters,
then you can go prospecting for Uranium glassware and others.

Have you already ordered your lead-lined undergarments?
(Ionising radiation + Gonads = A Poor Choice)

There are so many restrictions yet so few opportunities to experiment for an amateur
that I suggest you re-think your direction.

[Edited on 21-7-2018 by Sulaiman]

An ionization chamber is a simple project. A diy gieger counter is also pretty easy and can be done >$100. Radiation from a reasonable sized sample deteriorates within inches of air. I don't plan to make a uranium chair, so I think I am reasonably safe. Plus wearing lead is probably worse.

As for Brazil nuts, they contain radium in the nanocurie range, that would be a fun project, but not practically viable.
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Sulaiman
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[*] posted on 21-7-2018 at 04:21
Q.E.D.


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MJ101
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[*] posted on 21-7-2018 at 04:27


Quote:
[quote=Hunterman2244]An ionization chamber is a simple project. A diy gieger counter is also pretty easy and can be done >$100.



Q.E.D. :)

https://www.imagesco.com/articles/geiger/build_your_own_geig...

They offer a kit, as well as uranium ore and Cs137.

The greatest loss is the death of wonder and awe. It's also said to be childhoods' end.

Let's be kids forever. :)


[Edited on 21-7-2018 by MJ101]
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Hunterman2244
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[*] posted on 21-7-2018 at 04:28


Quote: Originally posted by Sulaiman  
You may be correct, but the original question was all wrong,
starting with acquisition of radiation sources rather than protection, measurement, storage and disposal, regulatory and transport concerns etc.
Until those issues are covered I consider it unwise to encourage or enable the acquisition of radioisotopes.

I myself no longer keep radioisotopes, G-M tubes etc.
just my diy spinthariscope remains,
and I worked for Radiation Dynamics and Harwell so I'm not an anti-nuclear nutcase.

Hopefully Hunterman2244 will come back and argue his case and maybe I'll be more positive ?
Sorry to post again, I didn't see this before. Basic protection is pretty simple, know decay products (e.g. Use fumehood when working with radium due to radon). Besides the same safety equipment you take for chemistry, proper storage is needed. Lead pigs, lead cabinets, and a proper location are various ways that one could deal with that. Just because I am new to this doesn't mean I don't know anything. I am competent enough to deal with it, I simply wish to make it reasonably achievable.
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[*] posted on 22-7-2018 at 01:16


contamination would be a major problem, i know you are not going to experiment with kilograms of radioactive compounds, but even a small spill can be a pain to clean, everything would get radioactive in your fumehood after a few accidents, not high levels of radiation i hope, but enough to be concerned in working a few hours a day in that environment.
then there's the problem of waste disposal, if you work with radioactive ore to extract for examle uranium, thorium, radium etc, you'll get quite a bit of radioactive waste, how do you plan to dispose all of your waste? throwing it in the sea or burying it in a field?
there are a lots of things to plan before experimenting





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[*] posted on 22-7-2018 at 02:03


Quote: Originally posted by Ubya  
f you work with radioactive ore to extract for examle uranium, thorium, radium etc, you'll get quite a bit of radioactive waste, how do you plan to dispose all of your waste? throwing it in the sea or burying it in a field?
there are a lots of things to plan before experimenting


When you have finished, the material will be exactly as radioactive as when you started.
If you started by digging uranium ore from a field, and then dumped the waste back there it would make little difference.
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[*] posted on 22-7-2018 at 10:17


Quote: Originally posted by Ubya  
contamination would be a major problem, i know you are not going to experiment with kilograms of radioactive compounds, but even a small spill can be a pain to clean, everything would get radioactive in your fumehood after a few accidents, not high levels of radiation i hope, but enough to be concerned in working a few hours a day in that environment.
then there's the problem of waste disposal, if you work with radioactive ore to extract for examle uranium, thorium, radium etc, you'll get quite a bit of radioactive waste, how do you plan to dispose all of your waste? throwing it in the sea or burying it in a field?
there are a lots of things to plan before experimenting

I can process the waste by reducing it to a solid form, which can be baked into glass, or simply stored, until it can have any radioactive components removed or properly disposed of.
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[*] posted on 22-7-2018 at 12:25


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Quote: Originally posted by Ubya  
f you work with radioactive ore to extract for examle uranium, thorium, radium etc, you'll get quite a bit of radioactive waste, how do you plan to dispose all of your waste? throwing it in the sea or burying it in a field?
there are a lots of things to plan before experimenting


When you have finished, the material will be exactly as radioactive as when you started.
If you started by digging uranium ore from a field, and then dumped the waste back there it would make little difference.


LMAO unionised!

People are so full of holier than thou pretentious sh*t
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Hunterman2244
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[*] posted on 22-7-2018 at 13:44


So is anybody going to help?
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Hunterman2244
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[*] posted on 22-7-2018 at 14:31


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum2  
Depends what kind of help. For example, if you have any disease, my advice is to stop all activities. Eating, drinking, watching, anything sexual, walking, talking, touching electronics or any device... Under these conditions all diseases and pains dissappear, and your sinuses become uncloged, pus dissappears from all sick body parts. Of course you have to remove cause of cause, then cause of cause, and up to first cause, but do not perfectize.

For example you can't do that through anger, fear, boredom, negativity, or any suffering. Only bad things can happen from bad things. Find some positivity, like another dimension, luck, immortality... Find meaning in life.

Saying just "you should do that and everything will be ok" is not enough. But if you find what is your cause of let's say overeating, then you can remove that cause. Most common cause is boredom. But it could be anything, like lack of something, excess of something, suboptimal conditions.

For example if you try to find love of life aka wife, through boredom, you will divorce soon, for exact same reason - boredom.

I mean we are live beings, and we depend on emotions, well-being, optimal conditions. For example you can't do anything just through hard work. Because that "hard work" will have to be sooner or later interrupted by sleep, if not something worse like disease or some enemy.

Time is our enemy. Hope you understand everything here. And so this does not be considered off topic or detritus, I will answer your topic below.

My advice is potassium. It has just enough radiation for begginers, and is used for beginners. It contains enough K-40 to be measured, used for small experiments, etc.

Buy or just collect from ashes large quantity of potassium, there are many sources.

[Edited on 22-7-2018 by j_sum2]

Thanks. My interest is more towards always unstable elements vs certain isotopes. Although the chemistry of potassium(and the alkali metals in general) is interesting.
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[*] posted on 22-7-2018 at 15:02


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum2  
But what you wann do with it? Just measure radiation or produce other radioactive elements/isotopes and particles? Something temporary or more permanent. I can give you different answer depending on your intentons.

I am interested in the chemistry of these elements. Production of if he particles and other areas of nuclear physics are also part of my interest, although a bit further along.
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[*] posted on 22-7-2018 at 15:53


Quote: Originally posted by Hunterman2244  
So is anybody going to help?


well the answer is not that simple. if you live near an uranium mine the cheapest way would be to get a geiger counter and go searching hot rocks.
americium is "cheap", by cheap i mean that a single button is about $2 on aliexpress or ebay, but you get just a few micrograms (or nano i don't remember).
thorium dioxide is in some TIG welding electrodes, there are a few topics on this forum on how to extract it.
thorium mantles also are a source of thorium dioxide but i don't think they are cheap right now ( or at least i didn't find any for a good price)
i saw somewhere how to extract actinium from uranium ore (milligrams from many kilograms of ore)

i'm not aware of any other "cheap" or easy to get radioactive isotopes, extracting them from uranium ore would be the cheapest if you can get the ore for free





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Hunterman2244
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[*] posted on 23-7-2018 at 14:06


Quote: Originally posted by Ubya  
Quote: Originally posted by Hunterman2244  
So is anybody going to help?


well the answer is not that simple. if you live near an uranium mine the cheapest way would be to get a geiger counter and go searching hot rocks.
americium is "cheap", by cheap i mean that a single button is about $2 on aliexpress or ebay, but you get just a few micrograms (or nano i don't remember).
thorium dioxide is in some TIG welding electrodes, there are a few topics on this forum on how to extract it.
thorium mantles also are a source of thorium dioxide but i don't think they are cheap right now ( or at least i didn't find any for a good price)
i saw somewhere how to extract actinium from uranium ore (milligrams from many kilograms of ore)

i'm not aware of any other "cheap" or easy to get radioactive isotopes, extracting them from uranium ore would be the cheapest if you can get the ore for free
I am in Florida, about as far as one can get.
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[*] posted on 23-7-2018 at 17:15


thorium is not that hard to find. i get it from W/Th TIG electrodes



Beginning construction of periodic table display
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[*] posted on 24-7-2018 at 01:56


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_mining_in_the_United_S...

Losalt
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Hunterman2244
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[*] posted on 24-7-2018 at 05:16


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_mining_in_the_United_S...

Losalt

That's still pretty far from me
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MJ101
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[*] posted on 24-7-2018 at 07:41


@Hunterman2244: Try to find the book listed in this link.

http://geoffcain.com/blog/science/diy-60s-fun-from-the-amate...

If you're good with your hands you can build one of these. Then, you can experiment with making your own radioisotopes. :)
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[*] posted on 24-7-2018 at 11:24


Quote: Originally posted by MJ101  
@Hunterman2244: Try to find the book listed in this link.

http://geoffcain.com/blog/science/diy-60s-fun-from-the-amate...

If you're good with your hands you can build one of these. Then, you can experiment with making your own radioisotopes. :)

That seems... unsafe.
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[*] posted on 24-7-2018 at 12:20


@Hunterman2244: Yes it could be unsafe. It all depends on the metal you use as the target plate.
As far as I remember, these devices are electron accelerators.

The article in the amateur scientist book explains all of that, as well as safety tips.
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[*] posted on 25-7-2018 at 16:07


Quote: Originally posted by MJ101  
@Hunterman2244: Yes it could be unsafe. It all depends on the metal you use as the target plate.
As far as I remember, these devices are electron accelerators.

The article in the amateur scientist book explains all of that, as well as safety tips.

Ok, I'll look into it.
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[*] posted on 25-7-2018 at 17:17


And they must be proton or ion accelerators, that is needed for entering into "nuclear dimension".
All you really use different from normal chemistry is much higher voltage (about million times) than for standard stuff like electrolysis. And really you won't lose any energy by doing such experiments, because only proportions are important. While it is true that you need high voltage, you also get free energy from nuclear reactions, and you can use it as heat for distillation or heating or drying. Of course dangerous just like everything.
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