[ RadSafe ] Worldwide Po-210 Production

Rainer.Facius at dlr.de Rainer.Facius at dlr.de
Fri Dec 1 03:16:21 CST 2006


>Does any one have a good reference as to how much Po-210 is produced annually? I hear the figure 100 gms, but only in passing, no source quoted. Google isn't helping much. Any help would be appreciated.

>Thanks in advance.

>Donald P. Mercado





Klaus Becker recently stated the 100 g as the annual worldwide production rate of Po-210 in a message to rad-sci (see below).


Given Klaus' reputation I would not hesitate to quote him as a 'source'

Best regards, Rainer


Von: owner-rad-sci-l at WPI.EDU im Auftrag von Prof.Dr.Klaus.Becker at t-online.de
Gesendet: Mi 29.11.2006 14:06
An: rad-sci-l at wpi.edu; Stoll; kraemer; Maushart; Erik
Cc: Schwabedissen
Betreff: Po 210


We also read articles about the chemistry and physics of this silvery metal producing alpha radiation, but no gammas, therefore not detectable in scanners and body counters, but requiring blood, urine or faeces analysis for detection. The alpha radiation is so intense that it makes the air glow in the dark up the alpha range in air, which is about 4 cm. Because of its short half-life, it is one of the rarest naturally occuring elements, but can be produced for example from Ra 222 via Pb 210 or reactor irradiation of bismuth. Of Pb 210, there is much around in radiochemical laboratories. Separation is, however, not very simple. The annual production is around 100 g, to be used mostly as a heat source in satellites, and formerly as a neutron source in nuclear weapons (a few mg Po 210 mixed with beryllium are enough).


Conclusion: Make sure with your pocket alpha counter that it is really sugar what you get in your coffee, tea, cocktails, ice cream, or Christmas cookies (my wife is just serving me some, which are delicious and, I believe,  safe)!

Best regards.                                      Klaus   

Prof. Dr. Klaus Becker
Boothstr. 27, D-12207 Berlin
Phone/Fax +49(0)30-7721284

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