Posts Tagged ‘Strontium 90’

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2142 AD

July 12, 2008
Radioactive contamination marker

2142 AD is the year in which Bayo Canyon, New Mexico will be safe for unrestricted use. But today, it has a radioactive contamination problem on account of the TA-10 complex, Los Alamos National Laboratory, that occupied the wooded canyon until cleanup 45 years ago. What was done here was rather interesting:

The Los Alamos National Laboratory […] conducted 254 radioactive lanthanum implosion experiments from September 1944 through March 1962. The purpose of these experiments was to test implosion designs for nuclear weapons. Conventional high explosives surrounding common metals (used as surrogates for plutonium) and a radioactive source, as small as one-eighth inch in diameter and containing up to several thousand curies of radioactive lanthanum, were involved in each experiment detonated. (Dummer, Tascher, Courtright 1996)

In other words, they built and detonated huge, open-air “dirty bombs.”

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