Nuclear physics problem (Chernobyl)

In summary, the conversation is about a problem related to the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. The activity of isotopes I(131) and I(133) was measured in the air of a city and the relative amount of these isotopes was given. The task is to use this information to calculate the time of the reactor explosion. The activity ratio of I(131) and I(133) is also mentioned, and it is suggested to solve for the time using this ratio as a function of time. However, there is a question about how to solve the problem if the halflife for I(133) is unknown. The person responding does not provide a full solution or answer, but encourages the person to figure it out themselves
  • #1
2
0
Hi

I have a problem that i do not know how to solve.

Activities from the fission products I(131) and I(133) were measured in the air of a city
28/4-1986 at 17:00. The result was 0,12 Bq/m3 and 0,39Bq/m3 for I(131) and I(133), respectively. These isotopes came from the chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster.
Use this information to calculate when the reactor container exploded. The relative amount
of I(131) and I(133) produced in the fission of U(236) is 2,892 and 6,686 percent, respectively.

I would appreciate it very much if someone could solve this problem.
 
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  • #2
Activity of a substance is equal to the product of the decay constant and atoms present, i.e. [itex]A\,=\,\lambda\,N[/itex].

At the time of release the activity ratio of I-131:I-133 has a value related to their yields from the same mass of U-236. So A(131)/A(133) is proportional to 2,892/6,686.

Simply write the Activity Ratio as a function of time from the accident and solve for the time.
 
  • #3
halflife

how do you solve it if the halflife for I(131) is given but Halflife for I(133) is unknown?
 
  • #4
but you have the activity and the relative amount of I131 and I133 that was produced in the reactor.

Try at last, we are not supposed to give full solutions or answers, we only kick people in the correct direction.

This is a home work problem in the Nuclear and particle physics course @ uppsala university .. I hope for your own sake that you don't are asking us to do your hand in examinations.
 

1. What is nuclear physics and how does it relate to the Chernobyl disaster?

Nuclear physics is the branch of science that studies the behavior and properties of atomic nuclei. The Chernobyl disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on April 26, 1986 in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. It was caused by a combination of human error and design flaws, leading to a massive explosion and release of radioactive materials.

2. What was the impact of the Chernobyl disaster on the environment?

The Chernobyl disaster had a significant impact on the environment. The explosion released a large amount of radioactive material into the atmosphere, contaminating the surrounding area and causing long-term effects on the environment and wildlife. It also led to the displacement of thousands of people and the abandonment of the nearby city of Pripyat.

3. How did the Chernobyl disaster affect human health?

The Chernobyl disaster had a significant impact on human health. The explosion released a large amount of radioactive material into the atmosphere, leading to increased rates of cancer and other health issues in the surrounding area. It also led to the evacuation and displacement of thousands of people, causing significant psychological and social effects.

4. What measures were taken to contain and clean up the Chernobyl disaster?

After the Chernobyl disaster, a large-scale effort was made to contain and clean up the radioactive materials. This included the construction of a concrete sarcophagus over the damaged reactor, as well as the implementation of strict safety measures and monitoring in the surrounding areas. Additionally, a large-scale cleanup effort was undertaken, including decontamination of buildings and land, and relocation of contaminated soil.

5. What lessons have been learned from the Chernobyl disaster in terms of nuclear safety?

The Chernobyl disaster highlighted the importance of strict safety protocols and proper training for nuclear facility workers. It also showed the need for better design and emergency response protocols in nuclear power plants. The disaster has led to significant improvements in safety regulations and practices in the nuclear industry, aimed at preventing similar incidents from happening in the future.

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