[ RadSafe ] Rn-222 from Depleted Uranium

Stroud - CDPHE, Ed ed.stroud at state.co.us
Tue Aug 20 13:55:16 CDT 2013

Rather than trying to calculate what the DU might or might not do, why not
simply measure the radon with a few inexpensive radon kits available at
most department stores.

Ed Stroud, Health Physicist

On Tue, 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?
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