[extropy-chat] Pu 239 production

spike spike66 at comcast.net
Sun Feb 11 21:27:09 UTC 2007

> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Keith Henson
> Subject: [extropy-chat] Pu 239 production
> At 10:37 AM 2/11/2007 -0800, spike wrote:
> >So what is the advantage to having the U238 in solution?
> Getting the Pu 239 out of solution before it captures another neutron...

Ja, but couldn't we do the same thing better with liquid uranium?  Then
perhaps we could take advantage of the difference in melting points or
boiling points of uranium, thorium, plutonium, protactinium and neptunium.
Perhaps a tungsten pipe could be arranged to carry molten uranium flowing
past a stationary neutron source.

>  Why this process was not figured out and used decades ago is beyond me.
> Keith

My first guess is the solubility of any uranium salt is sufficiently low
that you wouldn't have enough uranium ions.  If so, then this method would
be way slower than using a centrifuge, but this does bring up an interesting
and scary possibility.  This method might be far easier technologically than
separating isotopes the old fashioned way, which means it would be easier
for the bad guys to get the stuff.  Oy.



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