AW: [ RadSafe ] Dirty Bomb Material Report?

Flanigan, Floyd Floyd.Flanigan at
Tue Apr 4 11:32:27 CDT 2006

I am assuming this is gaseous H3 which would be little threat upon
postulated release except to someone right on top of them at the moment
of breech? Once in the atmosphere, would the H3 not dissipate rapidly
and be diluted to levels of non-concern in a very short period of time?

Actually, Hydrogen-3 is usually produced as follows:

Lithium-6 + neutron --> Tritium + Helium-4

Only the neutron (which is used up) and Tritium itself are radioactive
or dangerous. In addition, Tritium decays as follows:

Tritium --> Helium-3 + Electron + Electron anti-neutrino

Again, all of these are harmless, Helium-3 is not radioactive.

Anyone else see this issue this way?

Floyd W. Flanigan B.S.Nuc.H.P.

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] On
Behalf Of Mercado, Don
Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2006 10:09 AM
To: Robert Atkinson; John Jacobus; radsafe at
Subject: RE: AW: [ RadSafe ] Dirty Bomb Material Report?

I had a phone call last week from a guy who wanted to know about selling
the H-3 exit signs on eBay. He had about 20 of them and wanted to know
the relative hazard. He found my name through Radsafe. Anyway, that's
about 200 Ci of H-3 going for sale to John Q. Public if he didn't heed
my advice about returning them to the mfgr.

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] On
Behalf Of Robert Atkinson
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2006 7:50 AM
To: John Jacobus; radsafe at
Subject: RE: AW: [ RadSafe ] Dirty Bomb Material Report?

A few check sources is nothing.
If I was looking for material for an RDD I'd visit the local
construction site. A fairly common moisture density gauge contains 8mCi
of Cs137 (50 times the amount suggested for the GAO case, plus a 40mCi
Am241/Be neutron source. They lose about two or three a month according
to the NRC reports. 
One (serial No.15636) was stolen in Virginia in1997 and turned up on
eBay about a week ago! It was returned to its original licensee. The GAO
report just shows that the system works, a minimal amount of material
was detected and the identity of the persons involved was established.

Robert Atkinson. 
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