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Do You Know How many Types of Radiations we are Exposed to at any Given Moment?#36 Options
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Thursday, May 25, 2017 1:17:42 PM

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Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India
Daily we are exposed to variety of dangerous radiations. Just log-in;



https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/students/for-educators/06.pdf

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
Higgs271
Posted: Thursday, May 25, 2017 3:58:33 PM

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Location: Orange, California, United States

the actual link doesn't match what the text shows - click on the link and this is where it goes:

http://https//www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/students/for-educators/06.pdf

that doesn't work and gives an error - it should be:

https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/basic-ref/students/for-educators/06.pdf


Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Saturday, May 27, 2017 11:57:44 AM

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Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India
I can't find any perceptible difference in URL, but Higgs is right.

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
thar
Posted: Saturday, May 27, 2017 4:02:00 PM

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In schools in the UK, as in most other places I suspect, the study of physics includes studying radioactive sources. Schools have small sealed sources they can use - all enclosed so they only radiate in one direction, and all swabbed periodically to check for leakage. Except for when you want to actually use them in experiments - then you have to find 'real' sources.

The most commonly used are lighting mantles - they are soaked in thorium dioxide, because when they are lit the fabric of the mantle burns away and you are left with a mesh of the metal oxide, and that shines much brighter than an actual gas flame. They used to be used in all the gas lighting, before electric light - that bright light was not due to the actual burning flame of gas, it was due to the thorium.

Now, with electricity, gas mantles have gone, except in camping lanterns (at least in the west). And most have them have stopped using thorium now, and use yttrium instead. But you can still get thoriated lanterns - and the ones that are kept in schools will never run out - thorium has several short-lived isotopes, but it is really just thorium-232, with a half-life of 14 billion years. It will keep in that science store room for a few more years!
It decays to other radioactive substances such as radium 224 and radon gas.



Ah, the good old days!


But, anyway, the second thing you use to show radioactivity is even stranger - it is plates!
Uranium oxide was commonly used as a ceramics glaze, and one particular manufacturer made plates with it. So now, since it is kind of hard to get hold of uranium, you buy the plates instead. Nice orange glaze! Drives those geiger counters dippy.
During WW2 the American government actually seized their stock to help make the atom bomb. Whistle
Gives a nice bright, cheery look to that boring school radioactives cabinet.








And anyone who lives in an area of granite bedrock, like Cornwall in the UK, will know about radon gas - it builds up in enclosed spaces like basements as it is released by the decay or uranium or thorium which occur naturally in rocks. You just need to make sure you have a detector in the basement or house, and sufficient ventilation to get rid of the radioactive gas.



India has no uranium of its own, but lots of thorium, so it is trying to develop nuclear reactors which can use that.
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Sunday, May 28, 2017 1:16:29 AM

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Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India
thar, you are too knowledgeable about India. Thanks

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
thar
Posted: Sunday, May 28, 2017 4:16:22 AM

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Thanks Ashwin. I am don't mean to tell you about your own country! I don't think most people know about the potential for thorium in nuclear power.
The advantages seem clear - it is safer to mine and far more abundant than uranium. The reactor process is far safer, generates far less waste, and doesn't produce waste that can be weaponised.

On the minus side - it produces waste that can't be weaponised! Since the military funded nuclear research and power generation in most places, they wanted plutonium. They aren't interested in thorium reactors.

I do know India has a programme, but it seems to have stalled at the first stage - generating uranium. Then you have to make another plant to actually run the thorium reaction.
India has a goal of generating 30% of its electricity from thorium reactors by 2050, but I can't see them getting anywhere near that, from what I have read or heard. Last I heard they were pushing back the expected date to start in 2070, let alone bring 30% online.
China is interested and seems to be more prepared to follow through - their goal last I heard was 2020 (though not necessarily with enough safety consideration or testing, given their record) - they have been building new coal-powered stations like the devil, but their air pollution sucks! According to one expert at CERN, 1 ton of thorium produces as much power as 200 tons of uranium, or 3,500,000 tons of coal. That's a lot of air pollution cleaned up! Thorium is more abundant that uranium but it is still not available everywhere - India holds 2/3 of known reserves. So I think it will be trading in thorium, not using it, for a while yet.
I suspect Norway will be the first place to actually use thorium power generation, on a smaller scale. Then, if they can make it work, economically, everyone will be far more interested in it.

(It seems apt for it to be developed by Thor Energy in Norway, since Thorium is named after the Norse god Thor. Not that I am biased, of course). Whistle

Romany
Posted: Sunday, May 28, 2017 8:17:49 AM
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Thar -

Thanks so much for the description of how gas mantles work!

As you may have picked up, I work in a Georgian workspace and it's long puzzled me how women managed to sew, or even read in the light given by the wall sconces - we always need to bring in extra (electric) lighting when we have events in the evening.

So now I know and shall share the knowledge with visitors to the place. (The whole management of light: - the gilding, the windows, mirrors and their placement - is an architectural marvel in Georgian houses, so it's very pertinent).
TMe
Posted: Sunday, May 28, 2017 11:26:00 AM

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architectural marvel in Georgian houses and radiation; have any connection?Brick wall Brick wall Brick wall

I am a layman.
thar
Posted: Sunday, May 28, 2017 5:40:47 PM

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I don't know how the Georgians did it - I think maybe just strained their eyes! The gas mantle with incandescent metal wasn't invented till the 1880s, so too late for them.
I think the Georgian lighting was still mostly candle? It explains all that shiny silver and mirrors everywhere, to make the most of the light. The Victorians, on the other hand, went all dark and gloomy to disguise the soot from oil lamps - then you get piped gas and the bright light of thoriated mantles, then finally electricity.
And people thought the changing clothing and interiors were all about morals and fashion and changing society. Nah - its just down to the invention of new lighting products. Whistle
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Thursday, July 6, 2017 3:44:55 AM

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Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India
Welcome leesajohnson.

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
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