[ RadSafe ] RE tellowcake

Geo>K0FF GEOelectronics at netscape.com
Wed Jul 9 09:00:35 CDT 2008

Yellowcake can be yellow, green, orange or other colors
It is a mixture of uranium oxides and other chemicals. My inquiries to the 
Uranium section of NRC disclosed that the firing (dehydration) temperature 
had more to do with the color than the uranium content. U3O8 is also called 
yellowcake and it is pretty much black to my eyes. It is supplied chemically 
pure. I have samples of  yellow, orange and black.

This display at the Uranium Mining Museum at Grants New Mexico USA, was 
originally real yellowcake:

They were asked to substitute another chemical after 9/11 ( so they tell 
visitors). There is a LOT of radon in the museum, from the ore
displays. Same at the National Mining Hall of Fame Museum at Leadville 
Colorado USA. ( search: Walker Field, Calibration Pads)

More pictures from Grants NM:

The file inside that link marked DOE TEST PADS are some radioactive concrete 
slabs maintained by the US Government for periodic calibration of geological 
and other gamma spectroscopy equipment. There are other, larger  pads 
located in Grand Junction Colorado.

On the subject of mining museums, the one in Colorado Springs had a uranium 
mining exhibit this last March (2008) as well as a very nice theatrical 
presentation of Madame Curie's life. After the play, I had the actress pose 
with one of my PM1703M pocket ratemeters:
 The link also shows pictures of various aircraft museums and some 
radioactive finds in them. Pictures of the wing weights are NOT DU, but I 
had them posed for a picture to illustrate the need for counterweights in 
aircraft control surfaces. In another picture, a helicopter jet engine is 
shown to contain high amounts of thorium alloy, one of the few jet engines I 
have discovered made so.

My area of expertise is nucleonics, that is, detectors and instrumentation, 
but naturally I have an interest in other radiation related areas.

George Dowell

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "NIXON, Grant" <Grant.NIXON at mdsinc.com>
To: "Dan W McCarn" <hotgreenchile at gmail.com>; "Radsafe (E-mail)" 
<radsafe at radlab.nl>
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2008 1:32 PM
Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] RE: Cameco

I agree with Dan. This is not enriched uranium (i.e., enriched
isotopically with U-235) but, rather, processed ore / uranium
concentrate that preserves the natural abundance of U-235 (0.71% by wt).
No critical mass would be possible with yellow cake (which is actually
black or brown in colour).


More information about the RadSafe mailing list