[ RadSafe ] Po-210 detection after 21 half-lives?
Miller, Mark L
mmiller at sandia.gov
Mon Jul 9 10:10:00 CDT 2012
Quick calculation: Litvinenko rec'd ~ 2 GBq of Po-210 (according to Wikipedia (above)). Assuming that Arafat might have rec'd the same amount (IF Po-210 was involved). 2 GBq (2E9, time=0) X 5 E-7 (decay for Arafat's remains) = 1,000 Bq still in his remains. One MIGHT be able to assay this IF his remains were carefully ashed to achieve volume reduction, followed by radioassay for Po-210. The melting point of Po is 254 C and the boiling point is 962C, so it could conceivably be done? Error/uncertainties would be large.
From: Steven Dapra [mailto:sjd at swcp.com]
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2012 7:24 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Po-210 in the news
I did the exercise. It's 21 half-lives. After that many half-lives wouldn't a radionuclide be somewhat difficult to detect? By my reckoning, that's 0.477 x 10 -6 parts remaining.
At 09:50 AM 7/6/2012, you wrote:
>The fraction of any polonium-210 (138-day half-life) left on clothing
>or other personal belongings from that allegedly given to Yasser
>Arafat, who died eight years ago, is left as an exercise for
>the reader. This does not include any "salting the mine."
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