Radioactivity bleg

I am getting rather confused about radioactivity. I\’m definitely not getting some sciency bit here.

So, here\’s the regulation on disposal of radioactive waste. It says that if radioactivity is less than 0.4 becquerels per gramme of mass then you\’re not under the radioactive waste regulations.

OK, good oh.

But they then seem to be saying that thorium produces only 2.59 bcq/g mass. Which, if I\’ve got my numbers the right way around, means that you can treat wastes which are as much as 15% thorium as if they\’re not radioactive wastes.

Which sounds very odd indeed to me. I would have expected something more like 1% or less to be honest.

So, anyone out there who actually understands this stuff?

Aha! Chuckles gives me a step forward in comments.

Now what I need to know is, what concentration of thorium in a waste gives that 2.59/bcq?

Natural Th 232 yes. The stuff you find as a residual in mineral ores.

5 thoughts on “Radioactivity bleg”

  1. Tim,
    The becquerel is a ridiculously small unit, but the pdf you linked to says that waste etc cannot reigister more than 0.4 bcq/gram of activity, or it must get special treatment.
    However the items mentioned in the schedule 1 table, are exempted from this as long as they do not register more than the specified readings.

    e.g. IF your thorium containing solid/waste registers less than 2.59 bcq/gram the rules don’t apply.

  2. Brian, follower of Deornoth

    Radioactive Substances (Attachments to Lightning Conductors) Exemption (Scotland) Order (1963).

    Is it the lightning or the radioactivity that is different in Scotland?

  3. Thorium has a specific activity of 4000 bcq/g.

    Thus a material containing 0.06% (2.59/4000 x100) or 600 ppm thorium or less is exempted from special treatment.

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