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*To*: [email protected]*Subject*: Re: russia_1.html*From*: "S. M. Halloran" <[email protected]>*Date*: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 10:11:24 +200*Comments*: Authenticated sender is <[email protected]>*In-reply-to*: <[email protected]>*Organization*: User RFC 822 Compliant*Reply-to*: "S. M. Halloran" <[email protected]>*Sender*: [email protected]

> I think this comment is in error. Plutonium has a half life on the > order of 250,000 years, so very little decay products would build up > in 6 years. The tritium used in thermonuclear weapons has a much > shorter half life, and would need to be replaced about that often. Since radioactive decay is first-order, the following equation applies: N = N exp(-kt) 0 where N=amount of material at time 't'; N = amount of material at time t; k=decay rate constant; t=time of interest. The decay rate constant (k) for first-order decay processes can be expressed as k = ln(2)/half-life. Hence the equation can be expressed as follows: N / N = exp(-[ln(2)/half-life]*t) 0 N / N will express the amount of substance remaining as a percentage 0 of the original. Plugging in the numbers: exp(-[ln(2)/250,000y]*6y) = 99.998% Hence, ca. 0.002% (actually less than that) of the material has decayed. It may be the case that even this minute amount of "impurity" could poison something like weapons-grade material, but I am not a radioactive materials expert. Mitch Halloran Research Biochemist/C programmer/Sequioa's (dob 12-20-95) daddy Duzen Laboratories Group [email protected]

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