[ RadSafe ] Rn-222 from Depleted Uranium

Andrew McGechaen A.McGechaen at BuffaloInspection.com
Tue Aug 20 13:18:58 CDT 2013

Dear Sir/Madam,

My building stores about 300kg of depleted uranium. I have read that the indoor radon hazard in buildings originates from decay products of uranium in soil. Checking the Radium Series, I noted U-234 (245500a) -> Th-230 (75380a) -> Ra-226 (1602a) -> Rn-222 (3.8235d), with the attached half-lives. Fetter and von Hippel (1997) give U-234 at a concentration of 7 ppm in DU.

Is it safe to ignore the decay chain of U-238 to U-234, and consider only the initial concentration of U-234 ?

Is it realistic to assume that the residue of Ra-226 in the DU would be zero after chemical refinement?

I assume the U was depleted and chemically refined years or decades ago. What activity of Rn-222 would exist now?

Might radon escape through cracks or communicating voids in the metallic uranium?

Might any appreciable quantity of radon escape from the uranium metal by Fickian diffusion?

More information about the RadSafe mailing list