Physical Insights

An independent scientist’s observations on society, technology, energy, science and the environment. “Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown, with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop. Many passengers would rather have stayed home.” – Carl Sagan

Uranium chemistry, and some interesting blogs to check out.

with one comment

Special Nuclear Material is a great blog containing lots of interesting stuff. (Though it’s not really energy and nuclear energy related.)
It was this post on uranium chemistry that I found the blog via, and which I found really interesting.

Incredibly interesting, informative stuff. I’m impressed that he’s done all that inorganically, with no solvent extraction, and got good uranium selectivity, at least as far as you can tell from looking at pictures of the stuff.

Some people out there in the public might be alarmed by the fact that you can actually pull this off, all the way to UF4, in your basement. I’m not alarmed at all, I think it’s really impressive.

What alarms me a little more is that they actually sell moderately concentrated hydrofluoric acid to any idiot who walks into a store, in the US. (No disrespect to US citizens, in general, is intended or implied in the slightest here, of course.) I’m surprised that CPSC doesn’t absolutely freak out. (Maybe they will, if they find out that terrorists could use the stuff for dreaded nooklear purposes, though…)
God forbid if you actually want to buy psuedoephedrine cold pills or lye or something, though.

The portable BGO probe made from a subdivided part of a PET scanner – one of the PMTs and one corresponding small part of the array of BGO crystals – is very nice, too.

Whilst on the subject of blogs, I’m happy to give a shout out to Pro Nuclear Democrats as well. As they say, energy, energy security and the environment are not partisan issues.

Written by Luke Weston

October 17, 2008 at 8:33 am

One Response

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  1. Bashing the rocks with a hammer may release trapped radon which we are not supposed to inhale. Apart from active isotopes uranium is a toxic heavy metal so some of the other heating steps seem a bit cavalier, similar to throwing batteries or fluorescent light bulbs on a fire.

    John Newlands

    October 17, 2008 at 8:32 pm

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