[ RadSafe ] Expert discovers simple method of dealing with harmfulradioactive iodine

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Wed May 25 18:02:56 CDT 2011

While I am all for fun with chemistry, I think there are a couple of
misleading aspects to this article.

"Furthermore, iodine-129, which is a type of radioactive iodine, has an
extremely long half life of 15.7 million years, so is one of the most
significant long term hazards faced by the population due to its
emission during the geological disposal of nuclear waste."

I don't think I agree with that.  Because of the half-lives, you would
need about ten million times as much I-129 as I-131 to have the same
activity.  While I haven't run the numbers, I wonder if someone could
actually absorb enough I-129 to get to the activity levels that are of
concern with I-131 (yes, I realize that I-129 is potentially a hazard
for a longer period of time than 1-131, but I am not sure that I buy
that it will reach a comparable risk).

There are several scenarios, and in only one of them is the technique
mentioned of use.  

In an accidental release, whether to the air or water, the risk from
radioactive iodine is going to be dominated by I-131.  Also, there isn't
a practical way to get the released material into a microwave.

In geologic disposal of spent fuel, or of waste from reprocessing, I
don't see a strong driver for the I-129 to get out of the package and
into the environment.

If the radioactive iodine is being separated our during reprocessing, I
suppose it could be treated with this technique, and that might make it
easier to handle.  

All in all, however, I don't see this as a "simple method" in most
scenarios, and I am not sure the target isotope, I-129, is particularly

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of ROY HERREN
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 10:30 PM
To: radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Expert discovers simple method of dealing with
harmfulradioactive iodine


24 May 2011
Expert discovers simple method of dealing with harmful radioactive
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