"Radiological Emergency", man that makes you feel good

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Backtothemac, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. alex_ant macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2002
    All up in your bidness
    I'm sorry you didn't know this, but americium is not really a big deal on the list of possible radioactive dangers. It emits mostly alpha particles which can be stopped in a few cm of air (or by your skin without penetrating it). The only way it could hurt you is if you breathed it in. If you own a smoke detector, you've already got americium in your house. Terorrist. I'll bet you've even got more than one smoke detector in your house. Building a dirty bomb, are you?

    Beryllium is toxic but get real, building a dirty bomb out of it? You might as well build a bomb out of vinegar and baking soda, because it would probably do more damage.
  2. uhlawboi80 macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2002
    yeah, i just grabbed a med book and looked at beryllium. Apparently it can cause sensitivity in 1-15% of people exposed to it in hight concentations over time (like people who work closely with it) and even then it cause lung scaring which causes problems but not usually death. Doesnt sound like a great terrorist weapon. It was listed in the rare/minor lung illness section of the book :rolleyes:
  3. topicolo macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2002
    Ottawa, ON
    Re: "Radiological Emergency", man that makes you feel good

    Go after who? Nigeria? a country where the majority of the population don't even know what a missile is? :confused:
  4. voicegy macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    No problem. I'll just go out and buy more duct tape and plastic wrap.:eek:
  5. elfin buddy macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Sep 16, 2001
    Tuttlingen, Germany

    This might be more serious than it first appears. If I remember correctly, beryllium is commonly (or was commonly) used in nuclear weapons. I think I read that if a beryllium atom is bombarded with an alpha particle, the nucleus of the beryllium will become unstable and emit a neutron. If this is done on a large enough scale, enough neutrons could be emmitted to cause a chunk of uranium or plutonium to fission and possibly go supercritical. If this is linked to terrorism, it sounds like someone is building a nuke...

    However, only beryllium-9 will emit neutrons when bombarded with alpha particles, so hopefully they stole the wrong type of beryllium :)

Share This Page