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Thread: Deposition of radioactive isotopes on solids

  1. #1 Deposition of radioactive isotopes on solids 
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    Concerning the disaster of Fukushima plant, I was wondering about the physics of deposition of radioactive particles like Caesium-137 close to the nuclear plant, and their following transfer back to air in a less contaminated atmosphere.

    I suppose that contaminated solid, by deposition of radioactive particles, has quite flat surface (i.e. not granulated solids). If this solid is moved to a not contaminated atmosphere, is the transfer of the radioactive particles into air, and their following strong dispersion, a fast process? Or maybe this solid will keep being contaminated for a long time?

    Thanks in advance. And sorry if there are any spelling or grammar mistakes, I'm still learning english .


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  3. #2  
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    Your question is confusing. What do mean by "contaminated solid"? It looks like you are using the word "solid" when you mean something else, possibly "soil"?


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  4. #3  
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    Thanks for the response mathman, I will try to give more details and be less confusing.

    I was not referring to soil, I was thinking more in stuff like that you can find in home such as cupboards, tables, paintings, etc. Solid surfaces where radioactive particles may have been deposited. If we move this contaminated stuff into a "clean" atmosphere I think that these radioactive particles will transfer to air by diffusion and eventually will be strongly diluted into air to reasonable radiation levels. I assume that these particles have the size of Caesium-137 (emitted from Fukushima plant and with long half-life) and they are not within larger aerosol particles like dust or ashes.

    I buy sometimes second-hand stuff from Japan. Of course, with new manufactured products, I have the confidence that they pass suitable radiation controls but with second-hand items I am not so sure of their cycle. My science knowledge is quite basic, so I wanted to ask if my concerns about importation of second-hand stuff (not food) have science basis or are absolute nonsense. Nevertheless I assume that the largest problem is contamination of soil and water and their effect on agriculture, fishing, etc.
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  5. #4  
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    I don't think you can assume the radioactive contamination would go away by itself. I don't know what kind of controls are in place to keep someone from exporting radioactively contaminated materials. I assume there are some measures taken, but nothing is perfect. If you are concerned about it, you could buy a detector.
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  6. #5  
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    Thank you Harold. Yeah, I agree with you that the only way to know it for certain is measure the radioactivity.
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