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A question for those knowledgeable about radioactivity

paul1598419

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I've only seen those crystals of uranophane in the Smithsonian museum of natural history and in photographs. I had a dark piece of pitchblende in my collection, but never tried to measure its radioactivity. Some great links there, Encap. I owe you a rep. :yh:

That second sales thread seems quite reasonable. Nice find! The first one is a rip off.
 
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Blarg King

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Yeah, the stuff on those sites are still far too expensive for me. Thats the thing with a lot of places that sell uranium minerals, they're not just radioactive but they're also nice looking and stuff, and it drives the price up. The ore I've got just looks like an ugly grey lump that happens to be radioactive, which is fine by me.
 

paul1598419

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That second sales site has many nice looking specimens for ~$30.00. That is far less expensive than the first. $500.00 to $750.
 

paul1598419

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Well, that's too bad, then. If I were still collecting, I would buy some of those specimens.
 

Blarg King

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Ill probably start going looking for natural uranium in the woods once the snow melts.
 

Cyparagon

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Ill probably start going looking for natural uranium in the woods once the snow melts.


That's... not where you find uranium. At least ask google first before you get eaten by a moose.
 
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paul1598419

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There you go. When I was a kid I was a serious rock hound. I found some awesome samples of blue quartz in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where one of my rock and mineral books said it was found there. It was the only place in the US where it said it could be found.
 

Blarg King

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I've seen videos of people going into the woods and finding natural uranium in rocks in the ground. :shrug: Might as well give it a try since this province is known for having a ton of it.
 

Seoul_lasers

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Yeah, the stuff on those sites are still far too expensive for me. Thats the thing with a lot of places that sell uranium minerals, they're not just radioactive but they're also nice looking and stuff, and it drives the price up. The ore I've got just looks like an ugly grey lump that happens to be radioactive, which is fine by me.
I plan on doing a site inspection of a very high grade Uraninite/Thorite/ rare earth deposit in BC sometime this summer or later spring.. weather dependant. The area is in question happens to be in the vicinity of Clearwater BC. I have access to several survey meters with Gamma scintillation detectors/GM pancake tubes. How big a chunk/how hot would you like it? :D

1.5x2cm pure ore sample from the area yields about 56.4-60.00 uSv/hr in hard beta and gamma ~ 20,000-22,000 CPM. With the Alpha exposed, nearly 80 uSv/hr.
 
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Blarg King

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I plan on doing a site inspection of a very high grade Uraninite/Thorite/ rare earth deposit in BC sometime this summer or later spring.. weather dependant. The area is in question happens to be in the vicinity of Clearwater BC. I have access to several survey meters with Gamma scintillation detectors/GM pancake tubes. How big a chunk/how hot would you like it? :D

1.5x2cm pure ore sample from the area yields about 56.4-60.00 uSv/hr in hard beta and gamma ~ 20,000-22,000 CPM. With the Alpha exposed, nearly 80 uSv/hr.
If thats a legitimate offer, a 20,000 CPM piece would be an interesting addition to my collection. I would happily pay for a piece and the cost of shipping if we could work something out.

On a related note, anyone know of a source for some inexpensive lead foil?
 
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paul1598419

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That's a very nice offer, Seoul_Lasers. + rep. :yh: And congratulations for joining the 100K club.
 

Encap

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This article had me laughing :crackup:

"Your next smartphone or electric vehicle might be powered by a nuclear battery instead of your usual lithium-ion cell thanks to a breakthrough made by University of Missouri researchers. This is bad news for those of you who think that WiFi signals are bad for your health — especially if they’re received by a smartphone situated near your head or gonads — but great news for all of the people who value all-day battery life ahead of increased radiation exposure. The world could probably do with reduced fertility rates anyway, right?"

See: "This nuclear battery could power your smartphone forever – as long as you don’t value your life or sperm count too highly" https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/190555-this-nuclear-battery-could-power-your-smartphone-forever-as-long-as-you-dont-value-your-life-or-sperm-count-too-highly
 

paul1598419

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Yes, the headline is hilarious. As they commented, it won't be something we will see any time soon.....or even later. I can see someone collecting a bunch of used up batteries to make a dirty bomb. Sr90 would make a very dirty bomb.
 

Benm

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On a related note, anyone know of a source for some inexpensive lead foil?
That would depend on how thin or thick you want that lead. I could still be available at hardware stores for things like leakproofing roofs, though i guess it is being phased out for somehow being hazardous (to people that lick there roofs or something, idk).

One thing to mention here is that you would NOT want to use just lead as a shielding material for beta emitters - they'll create x-rays (bhremstralung) from the lead which is still dangerous. The most common shielding material for beta emission are plastics as they have low mass atoms (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen).

As for sources of natural uranium: those should not be expensive at all, but look like fairly random rocks. If you want to have U-238 (depleted uranium) you could perhaps look at ammo made out of that. I suppose you cannot go around a buy armor piercing rounds, but once the round has been fired the bullet is still U-238 and no longer explosive or anything like that.
 

Blarg King

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My plan was to get a big ammo box and line it with a 1/2" layer of sheet plastic and then lead. Currently I keep all my radioactive stuff in a small steel ammo box and the thick steel walls seem to block the bulk of the radiation. As for the thickness of the lead, probably would like 1/4" at least. I imagine with that many layers it should block even "hotter" ore samples I may collect.

I think a few hardware stores here still sell lead roof flashing, bit its still a bit pricey. My alternate plan was to just see if I can get some used lead car tire balances and melt them down and pour them into a sheet.
 




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