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Hot Brazil Nuts & Hot Cat Litter :)

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:30 pm
by Starfire

Re: Hot Brazil Nuts & Hot Cat Litter :)

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:50 pm
by Carl Willis
I ashed a couple bags worth of fresh Brazil nuts (actually from Brazil, where the trees grow in uranium and thorium-rich pegmatite sands, unlike the other major producer, Bolivia) several years ago in the chemistry lab to look for radium in the solids. Almost the entirety of the nut is just highly flammable fats that burn off quickly. The characteristic gamma radiation from radium daughters can be detected from the ashes with a sodium iodide scintillator. There is no striking above-background count on a pancake GM tube, either of the bare nut or the ashes.

It was a little disappointing how subdued the activity actually was! Other than that, I am still a fan of these thick, tasty, fatty nuts.


Re: Hot Brazil Nuts & Hot Cat Litter :)

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:27 pm
by Starfire

Geo - carl
It was an interesting snipit I had come across - I have not got the castle set up yet, but I intend to explore low count sources when I get going. A guy in Austria has built a castle of lead bricks several feet thick and a totally enclosed counter. His hobby is low count meterology - some times taking weeks per run and repeating the run to get more accurate results.
--- But don't eat the experiment :)

Re: Hot Brazil Nuts & Hot Cat Litter :)

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:07 pm
by Richard Hull
All of this info is in Bill Kolb's book co-authored with Paul Frame of Oak Ridge Radiation Museum fame.

Two small "shaker" containers of "No Salt will give the potassium peak on my gamma spec. scintillator, as will the standard 1lb can of stump remover (KNO3). The higher atomic percent of the potassium in KCl, (no salt/water softner-filter material), is the one to go after for easy reads with a pancake in minimal volume.

I love freaking people out here at work by putting radiation labels on the salt substitute. "eat healthy", I say, "there is plenty of 1million plus electron volt gamma rays blasting outta' no salt,and, all at no extra charge. I tell them it is, truly, just like real salt only, it is radioactive.

A couple called their doctors who told them I was lying. They believed the medicos, of course. I brought in three large 1b regular Morton salt containers and a small carton of 16 small No Salts. The hand held scintillation counter told the story about what was radioactive and what was not. All were very upset at learning the truth........which has been known to hurt, but in this case through ignorance.

I followed up telling them that their entire skeletal system irradiates them more each day that any intake of No Salt. They still did not understand much of what was said. All they knew is that their doc, ultimately, lied to them and that they had been eating "radiation stuff" on his advice.

It proves ignorance is bliss and a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing among the truly uninformed huddled masses. It also points out nothing works on a weak mind like blind, irrational fear. For many folks I have seen, knowledge can be a bad thing. One person actually told me that they wish they had never heard all of this!!!

Richard Hull

Re: Hot Brazil Nuts & Hot Cat Litter :)

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 7:02 pm
by JohnCuthbert
"Still on the back patio, waiting for ideas to get it into the lab!"
Build a lab round it on the patio; it may be easier than moving the castle.

Re: Hot Brazil Nuts & Hot Cat Litter :)

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 8:56 pm
by Starfire
Geo - what common metal are low "Z" and how thick per section wall?, copper I have & SS also Aluminium. I can make coaxial sheaths of these but are three enough?

To move the big one -have you tried crawlers - I have used these often to move CNC machine tools some times weighting several Tons. You may be able to borrow from a machine shop as they are only used once in a blue moon when machines have to be shifted and most shop engineers will lend them if asked.

PS Be careful of your toes when jacking - a common source of amputation. :))

Re: Hot Brazil Nuts & Hot Cat Litter :)

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:29 pm
by Jon Rosenstiel
John- A couple of links that may be of interest...

Jon Rosenstiel

Re: Hot Brazil Nuts & Hot Cat Litter :)

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:50 pm
by Starfire
Tks Guys - better educated than before - My lead is very old - most came off roofs ( or the back of a lorry :) so now must hunt Tin foil - I have copper bus bar which is over fifty years old but need a roll-mill to reduce the thickness to foil - must hunt arround for a shop which has. This project is back burner at present as I am still building the B11 beast