[ RadSafe ] Rn-222 from Depleted Uranium

Dan McCarn hotgreenchile at gmail.com
Tue Aug 20 13:49:57 CDT 2013

How much Rn-222 activity in 300 kg of depleted U? Virtually none because the time to reach secular equilibrium is 1-2 million years. Soils already have ingrowth products from the uranium minerals in the parent rock. 

Dan W McCarn
108 Sherwood Blvd
Los Alamos, NM 87544 USA
Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 20, 2013, at 12:18 PM, Andrew McGechaen <A.McGechaen at BuffaloInspection.com> wrote:

> 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?
> _______________________________________________
> You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list
> Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood the RadSafe rules. These can be found at: http://health.phys.iit.edu/radsaferules.html
> For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings visit: http://health.phys.iit.edu

More information about the RadSafe mailing list