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Uranium versus plutonium

by brandy
Tags: plutonium, uranium, versus
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brandy
#1
Jun14-08, 05:24 AM
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pros and cons of using uranium 235 or plutonium 239 in an atomic bomb?
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Ed Aboud
#2
Jun14-08, 05:38 AM
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Plutonium bombs have the advantage that Pu-239 is available because it is made in the waste product of nuclear reactors and can easily be chemically reprocessed. However, the plutonium bomb design and construction is extremely difficult and precise. Plutonium is often contaminated by Pu-240, which is very reactive and decays before the chain reaction goes to completion. So to prevent this from happening, plutonium bombs use implosion. Explosives are detonated on all sides of a mass of Pu to compress it into a small "blob" where the three neutrons emitted can hit other Pu-239 atoms quickly and continue the chain reaction. But the explosions must be entirely balanced and uniform to implode the Pu properly and successfully detonate a Plutonium bomb.
vanesch
#3
Jun14-08, 06:59 AM
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There's a lot of information about this in this thread:
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=239605

brandy
#4
Jun17-08, 04:49 AM
P: 162
Uranium versus plutonium

oops i meant to say uranium 234 and plutonium 239. also what is the costs of each.
vanesch
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Jun17-08, 05:57 AM
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Quote Quote by brandy View Post
oops i meant to say uranium 234
what are you supposed to do with U-234 ?
brandy
#6
Jun17-08, 07:37 AM
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Quote Quote by vanesch View Post
what are you supposed to do with U-234 ?

put it in an atomic bomb?
what do u mean?
mgb_phys
#7
Jun17-08, 09:20 AM
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Quote Quote by brandy View Post
put it in an atomic bomb?
what do u mean?
U 234 doesn't go bang - it's a relatively innocuous alpha emitter.
daveb
#8
Jun18-08, 09:39 AM
P: 926
Not to mention the fact that U-234 is 0.0055% of natural uranium. This means take 1000 kg of pure uranium, and only 55 grams of it is U-234. You're better off making a bomb out of the U235 you have. Plus it has a horrible fission cross section http://wwwndc.tokai-sc.jaea.go.jp/cg...rn/U234.intern.
brandy
#9
Jun18-08, 12:50 PM
P: 162
yes i meant to say u-235.
vanesch
#10
Jun18-08, 01:38 PM
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Quote Quote by brandy View Post
yes i meant to say u-235.
Which is what you said initially...


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