plutonium-239

(redirected from Pu-239)

plutonium-239

[plü′tō·nē·əm ¦tü‚thər·dē′nīn]
(nuclear physics)
A synthetic isotope chemically similar to uranium and neptunium; atomic number 94; made by bombardment of uranium-238 with slow neutrons in a nuclear reactor; used as nuclear reactor fuel and an ingredient for nuclear weapons.
References in periodicals archive ?
One recent achievement of the Nuclear Data Section has been the production of two nuclear data libraries for U-235 and U-238 (Uranium), two of the 3 most important isotopes for nuclear energy production (the third one being Pu-239 (Plutonium), which support the safety of nuclear reactors.
Pu-239 is produced when U-238 nuclei absorb slow neutrons.
The core of a nuclear fission explosive device is either composed of high proportion of Pu-239 (which is a radioactive isotope of plutonium metal) or highly-enriched isotope of uranium i.
He arrived at the University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory on his 30th birthday to assume leadership for developing the chemical process used to extract Pu-239 after its production in nuclear reactors.
other isotopes are more radioactive than Pu-239, WGPu is about 1.
The total exposure dose rate of reference organisms resulting from ionising radiation of technogenic radionuclides in Lake Druksiai Insect larvae H-3, Pu-239 <1% Cs-137 40% Cs-134 1% C-14 2% Mn-54 4% Co-60 42% Sr-90 10% Vascular plant H-3, Pu-239 <1% Cs-137 40% Cs-134 1% C-14 2% Mn-54 4% Co-60 43% Sr-90 9% Crustacean H-3, Pu-239 <1% Cs-137 40% Cs-134 1% C-14 3% Mn-54 4% Co-60 41% Sr-90 1% Gastropod H-3, Pu-239 <1% Cs-137 38% Cs-134 1% C-14 4% Mn-54 4% Co-60 46% Sr-90 6% Note: Table made from pie chart.
According to Cosmos magazine: "Unlike U-235 and Pu-239, no matter how much thorium you pack together, it will not start splitting atoms and blow up.
The type of plutonium in the bottle - known as Pu-239 - is a so-called alpha emitter.
Mixtures with considerably less Pu-239 than weapons-grade can in principle be made into a weapon, but they generate much radiation and heat, making weapons harder to build reliably.
Due to the advanced types of reactors proposed for building under this program, the overall amount of fuel available for consumption actually increases with each cyclical iteration, due to the transmutation of U-238 into burnable Pu-239 in the reactor core (DOE, 2007.
The initial light-water moderated nuclear plant was economically justified, largely based on recovery of the valuable fissile isotopes U-235 and PU-239, which of course would be recycled to the reactor.