Friday, May 20, 2011

A cesium absorbing material

Welcome back to JJNN

Today's article was taken from the International Business Times.

One of the major results of a nuclear meltdown is the release of strongly radioactive elements into the environment in the vicinity of the nuclear power plant. It takes a lot of time, energy, money and danger to clean up a meltdown site. Any little thing that will help speed up the process and cut down the risk of radiation exposure would be greatly appreciated by those that have to clean up the site.

Luckily for the people that have to clean up (and still contain) the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima a Japanese research center has discovered a material that can absorb a lot of a radioactive material known as cesium. The material, which is a solidification of titanic acid, was developed by the people at Japan's National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS). One cubic centimeter of this substance can not only trap up to one gram of cesium but it also holds the cesium better than the prior clean up agent, borosilicate glass. In fact, after a week of high temperature tests, it lost 1/170th the amount of borosilicate glass.

Crystal structure of solidified titanic acid

Here are some quick facts of solidified titanic acid:
     Crystal width of .02mm (.000787in)
     Crystal length of 5mm (0.2in)
     Production method: titanium oxide and cesium are desolved into molybdenum and go though electrolysis
     Can be made under normal temperatures and pressures

It is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 結晶(けっしょう). It is pronounced kessho and it means crystal. There are people in the world who try to make crystals something special by saying they have "healding powers," but I always think that a crystal is amazing just the way it is (even if it doesn't have any special powers).

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