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Re: Plastic and radiation damage

The answer is yes, although that's not an extremely high field so the
effects may be secondary.  
What I'd need to know are: type of plastic (acrylic, HDPE, LDPE, etc.),
energy range of the beta's espically and to a lesser extent the gamma's,
temperature and humidity of storage, is sunlight a factor?, is the liquid
an acid or a base and how strong?, time (duration) of storage, possibility
of shocks (physical) to the container, anything else that you think of
environmentally that I'm leaving out.  Radiaiton may add to the effect of
an otherwise slow or non-serious threat to structural integrity.  
Lots of strange things can happen to plastics that are often taken for
granted because they usually hold mudane things like soda or shampoo and
are stored in the home under relatively benign conditions.  I have a few
(moderatly dangerous) destructive things I pull out of my bag-o-tricks from
time to time for demo purposes involving plastics that never cease to amaze
(frighten) those in attendance.  Let me know some of this stuff, I'll try
to give you a good head start if not a complete answer.  

Scott Kniffin

RSO, Unisys Corp. @ Lanham, MD
CHO, Radiation Effects Facility, GSFC, NASA, Greenbelt, MD

The opinions expressed here are my own.  They do not necessarily represent
the views of Unisys Corporation or NASA.  This information has not been
reviewed by my employer or supervisor.  

At 10:01 04/23/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Does anyone out there know if plastic is subject to any structural
>decomposition as a reults of being exposed to moderate exposure rate
>fields?  For instance, a plastic container being used to hold several
>gallons of liquid containing beta-gamma emitters at concentrations up to 1
>Ci/L (thats 37 GBq/L for our European friends).
>Gary L. Schroeder
>Brookhaven National Laboratory
>Environmental Protection Office