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Author Topic: Places to find radioactive rocks?  (Read 817 times)

Jimnyjerry

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2018, 01:27:33 PM »
Well done Rej. And good on you Bob.  :)
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.

Gem Ranger

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2018, 11:57:19 AM »
Nice one Rej. What are the readings like on harts range zircon and nuked electric blue topaz?

GR

Rej

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2018, 03:23:45 PM »
Hart's range zircon shows a small increase from background, not the kind of thing that would show well in a video. On a 3 minute average, I get 128 counts per minute for background at home using my most sensitive probe. After 3 minutes on the zircon, I get 190 counts, so not even twice background but still technically "radioactive".

On light blue from Mt Surprise and Tasmania, I get a barely statistical increase from background, about 140 counts.

I have some super-nuked blue topaz from Brazil but that gives off no extra radiation, I think they let it cool off before selling or maybe I don't have enough pieces for it to register.

Plutonium

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2018, 07:50:55 PM »
Cooked topaz is left to cool off after it is taken from the reactor.
Depending on what isotope is activated to create the colour would be a determining factor in how long it takes for that isotope to decay.  I've been asked to check Topaz and some other cooked gems over the years, but not of them have been detectable.

It would be nice to get a group of my radioactive hunting friends together to walk around Torrington for a good treasure hunt.
Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

starsapphire78

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2018, 08:18:55 PM »
Please excuse , my ignorance , but why nuke Topaz ?

Orange Pirate

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2018, 08:53:32 PM »
Please excuse , my ignorance , but why nuke Topaz ?


To make it blue. Very little topaz is naturally blue. And if it is, it's a light blue. So pretty much all blue topaz you see has been nuked.


Quote
The most commonly irradiated gemstone is topaz, which becomes blue after the process.[3] Blue topaz is very rare in nature and almost always the result of artificial irradiation.[12] According to the American Gem Trade Association, approximately 30 million carats (6,000 kg (13,000 lb)) of topaz are irradiated every year globally, 40 percent of which were done in the United States as of 1988.[13] As of 2011, no topaz is neutron irradiated in the US; major treatment areas are Germany and Poland.[citation needed] A lot of linear accelerated treatment is done in Bangkok


from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemstone_irradiation
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 08:58:15 PM by Orange Pirate »

Plutonium

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2018, 10:15:42 PM »
Please excuse , my ignorance , but why nuke Topaz ?

You might be shocked how many gems are "cooked".
It was quite common about 20 years ago for diamonds to be cooked to artificially improve them.

Topaz is just the most well known because so much of it is not naturally blue and most people are aware it's cooked in nuclear reactors.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemstone_irradiation

Neutron activation is the most common. When isotopes re neutron activated, it's the old philosophers stone, alchemy that one element is changed to another. This dopes the host matrix mineral changing it's colour.
 The new isotope is usually radioactive so it is given time to decay (>5 half lives) and it is no longer radioactive.

Electron activation sounds like spallation. It's bit different, but can also make a gemstone radioactive. The high energy knocks protons or neutrons from the atom transmutating it.

Gamma radiation is the kind of thing they used on diamonds. It doesn't transmutate the material, like it doesn't change lead into gold as in the above examples. Instead it chemically changes the structure of the mineral. It's similar to heating it in a furnace but without risking the gem getting physically hot and it suffering from heat stress fracturing.

The one I didn't know what alpha activation of diamonds to make them green.
I've got a few spare alpha particles, I need to find me some cheap diamonds to play with.
Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

Gem Ranger

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2018, 04:04:39 PM »
Thanks heaps Rej, that's been a nagging question for me for ages. I appreciate finally having that one answered  :D

Lord_Thunda

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2018, 10:04:50 PM »
So glad you had a great time Rej! It was a pleasure meeting you all & taking you to Gadens. Seeing the happiness when you found that Torbernite was priceless. [size=0px] [/size]

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