Inexpensive alpha emitter?

  • Thread starter Strat-O
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I would like to pursue an idea that involves transmutation of elements using an alpha emitter. I figure that the production rate I would like to achieve would require about 5 Ci of radioactivity. What would be a good candidate, i.e. least expensive and reliable supply with a half life of > 60 days and an energy of at least 1.5 MeV? I've looked at Po-210 but according to wiki, the annual global production is about 100 grams per year and although I haven't worked it out the price per curie is probably prohibitively expensive.

Essentially looking for the biggest alpha-bang per buck!

Thanks
 

Answers and Replies

  • #3
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Thanks. After posting I thought about Americium because it's common in smoke detectors. It is a bit expensive at $160 per milligram but I think I can produce small amounts of product and scale it up.

1 gram of Americium would generate 3.5 Ci. I'm guessing that amount would cost far less than $160,000. The cool thing is with a 400+ year half life for Am-241, it would not need to be replenished often.

Strat-O
 
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  • #4
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Price is outstanding. Looks like you can get a gram of Am-241 oxide for $1,600.
 
  • #5
Astronuc
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Thanks. After posting I thought about Americium because it's common in smoke detectors. It is a bit expensive at $160 per milligram but I think I can produce small amounts of product and scale it up.

1 gram of Americium would generate 3.5 Ci. I'm guessing that amount would cost far less than $160,000. The cool thing is with a 400+ year half life for Am-241, it would not need to be replenished often.

Strat-O
Read this - http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part030/
 
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  • #6
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I do believe there are a certain set of guidelines you should follow before you attempt this.
 
  • #7
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That makes sense.
 

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