Source for Uranium Metal?

This area is for discussions involving any fusion related radiation metrology issues. Neutrons are the key signature of fusion, but other radiations are of interest to the amateur fusioneer as well.
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Carl Willis
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Re: Source for Uranium Metal?

Post by Carl Willis » Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:45 am

Here's what the Man says:

10 CFR 40.13 (b) Any person is exempt from the regulations in this part and from the requirements for a license set forth in section 62 of the act to the extent that such person receives, possesses, uses, or transfers unrefined and unprocessed ore containing source material; provided, that, except as authorized in a specific license, such person SHALL NOT REFINE OR PROCESS SUCH ORE.

10 CFR 40.4 Unrefined and unprocessed ore means ore in its natural form prior to any processing, such as grinding, roasting or beneficiating, or refining.

10 CFR 40.22 (a) A general license is hereby issued authorizing commercial and industrial firms, research, educational and medical institutions and Federal, State and local government agencies to use and transfer not more than fifteen (15) pounds of source material at any one time for research, development, educational, commercial or operational purposes. A person authorized to use or transfer source material, pursuant to this general license, may not receive more than a total of 150 pounds of source material in any one calendar year.



Brian's right about the conventional understanding of these laws in our community. However, a strict-constructionist reading may allow for one to possess a quantity of uranium ore having uranium content less than or equal to the 15-lb bag limit, and refine or process it under the restrictions of the General License of 10 CFR 40.22 (a)...provided one's own state, municipality, and landlord don't get bent out of shape over it either. If one claims to be a General Licensee, you are also conveniently opted-out of requirements to maintain a health-physics program BUT you may still have to maintain records and are still beholden to the NRC to not cause contamination or excessive doses to people and that sort of thing. I think this interpretation allows for non-specifically licensed folks to do such things as analytical chemistry, ore assays, and limited refining and processing (but not enrichment). Unless incorporated or otherwise registered as a business, an individual must be prepared to make the case through semantics that he himself is a "research institution."

I'm not about to go ahead and do these things and flaunt it in public though. An amateur scientist should not trust in his skills as an amateur lawyer, unless he's down with a little vacation at Guantanamo.

-Carl
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Re: Source for Uranium Metal?

Post by winterhaven » Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:01 am

I understand that using depleted uranium slugs was approved for use on domestic military shooting ranges. I don't know if it would be possible to get on to one of those ranges, but I imagine someone with a decent detector could gather quite a few specimens, and possibly even combine them into a larger sample.
I feel kind of weird even talking about this stuff in the post 9/11 world we live in. Ever get that creepy feeling like someone is watching you? I think I just got the internet version.

Todd

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Richard Hull
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Re: Source for Uranium Metal?

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:48 pm

To Wilfried...........Thorium in thorium welding rods is NOT thorium metal.... it is 98-99% tungsten metal. You may not possess Thorium metal, the element. Licensed thorium bearing materials (lens, mantles, welding rods, etc.), are fine. The content of these item is limited to a very tiny amount mixed in with a large mass of something else.

Q is wise to obtain old books. The information is one of a kind and one day will be well buried among these old ancient tomes forever. The good experimenter will always seek out knowledge.

Carl gives all the legal data and sage advise regarding not becoming your own lawyer.

You can obtain up to 150 lbs of ore a year and make a rock garden with the stuff or pile it up on your lawn. But don't try and process it in any manner. Just 'cause the feds are out of the picture doesn't mean your state, county or city authorities like you or what you are doing. The closer you get to home the more rabid, knee jerk and arbitrary the rules become. Ultimately the rules are what the authorities, who ever they are and in what ever circumstance, say they are.

Depleted uranium metal is legal to own and hold in any number of forms PROVIDED it is in the form of a licensed, manufacturered good and is clearly marked by that manufacturer with "Uranium" stamped into the metal. Bill Kolb's book and the federal regs state this.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Wilfried Heil
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Re: Source for Uranium Metal?

Post by Wilfried Heil » Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:56 pm

Aha. By the same semantics, my Tritium watch isn´t considered radioactive. If it were, it would be banned. It just depends on from which side you look at it. You may be allowed to pray while you´re smoking, but not to smoke while you pray.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Source for Uranium Metal?

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:37 pm

By definition though, your watch contains absolutely pure, isotopic, elemental, Tritium.

Welding rods contain traces of thorium. Per unit mass, more elemental thorium is contained in lamp mantles or monazite sand in stream beds. No pure thorium metal is for sale, by law.

Pure thorium metal is very abundant, it is easy to make and very, very inexpensive. It is mildly radioactive. (very low specific activity) You can't have any pure stuff by law. No product containing pure thorium is allowed to be manufactured.

Pure tritium is difficult to make (needs a nuclear reactor to make in saleable quantities), difficult to separate, biologically dangerous per unit mass and highly radioactive, (very high specific activity). Tritium is extremely expensive, yet it is easily available in pure form in many open market products.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Re: Source for Uranium Metal?

Post by Q » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:51 pm

so, is there a reason why thorium metal has been added to the non-obtanium list? or is it yet another example of regulation without reason?

Q

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Richard Hull
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Re: Source for Uranium Metal?

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:03 pm

I am sure it is regs, without reason, coupled with the obvious question......... What product could you imagine being produced better, cheaper, more useful or longer lasting using pure Thorium metal over any other non-radioactive metal?

I can't think of a thing.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Wilfried Heil
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Re: Source for Uranium Metal?

Post by Wilfried Heil » Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:40 pm

I just checked www.goodfellow.com which does offer Thorium and Uranium for research use in small foils and in wire form, though at exorbitant prices. The cost alone would prevent the accumulation of strategic quantities, with no further regulation required.

It appears that just about anything can be had in pure and solid form, for a knowledgeable experimenter, with a suitable lab, and a plausible need for the material.

Some natural alpha emitters such as Thorium and Uranium are regulated, to a different extent depending on the quantity and use. Others like Lanthanum and Platinum are freely available.

If I were to repeat the sonofusion experiments, I´d improvise on the alpha emitter or use one of those which are easily available.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Source for Uranium Metal?

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:43 pm

All of the suppliers here no longer carry radioactive chemicals or elements. They are deferring such requests to CERAC who still sells both U and Th at about $40.00/gram. Cerac demands that you have an NRC laboratory use certificate before they will sell to you even at the outrageous prices.

Again, the current price for uranium in the open market is $38.00/ lb (~454 grams). This is for the oxide with 1lb of contained elemental U in it. I was unable to locate any quote on spot Thorium prices on the open market as it is not traded publicly as Uranium is.

It is a case where the stuff is very cheap, but unobtainable within the public sector.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

3l
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Re: Source for Uranium Metal?

Post by 3l » Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:50 pm

Hi Richard:

Glad to see the juices still flowing.
The post is word for word what the material hazard program spat out when I was applying for my Phd Work.

Happy Fusoring!
Larry Leins
Fusor Tech

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