[ RadSafe ] Pepto-Bismol

Otto Raabe ograabe at ucdavis.edu
Fri Dec 15 12:14:38 CST 2006

At 06:04 AM 12/13/2006, Flanigan, Floyd wrote:

When Litvinenko came to leave the Soviet Union, radiological monitoring
was not exactly prolific in airports and ports of entry/egress. So let's
say he had some items in his possession which were pretty severely
contaminated with U-238. Being ex-KGB, this is not such a stretch.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.

Litvinenko is feeling nostalgic and decides to drag out an old,
dilapidated suitcase from the basement and go for a trip down memory
lane via some things from the Mother Country. Call it bad luck. Call it
bad timing, but something in there which WAS contaminated badly with
U-238 is in the right time sector of the decay process and is now badly
contaminated with Polonium-210.
December 15, 2006

The only point that I was trying to make is that an individual 
"contaminated" with depleted uranium is not going to end up being 
contaminated with a meaningful amount of Po-210 any time soon because of 
the extremely long half-lives of the intermediate radionuclides and because 
the specific activity of depleted uranium is quite small.


Prof. Otto G. Raabe, Ph.D., CHP
Center for Health & the Environment
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
E-Mail: ograabe at ucdavis.edu
Phone: (530) 752-7754   FAX: (530) 758-6140

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