Modern Alchemy - Nuclear Reactions
Submitted: Sun Feb 14 2010
CT: Alchemy: Modern Alchemy - Nuclear Reactions
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Radioactivity is the key to today's alchemy. What happens in a nuclear reactor? Uranium is transmuted into plutonium, caesium, strontium, barium, iodine, krypton and xenon, to name but a few elements. These often decay to other stable elements through various radioactive processes. Such nuclear reactions are used to produce americium-241 for use in household smoke detectors, technetium-99 for use as a radioactive tracer in health care, and in production of plutonium-239 - the isotope of plutonium used in nuclear weapons.