Radioactive steel

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by Nick.K, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Nick.K
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    Nick.K Senior Member

    It seems that radioactive hospital waste is entering the recycling chain; thought to be in India. German media have recently reported finding imports of radioactive stainless products. One site I looked at said that just one hour close to some of the metal found would be the equivalent of a years safe exposure!

    "German authorities in recent months have found a disturbingly large amount of radioactive steel in factories across the country. Much of the contaminated metal is thought to have originated in India."

    Time to buy a geiger counter?
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    If they aren't too expensive, well, yes.
  3. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    perhaps someone found a "low cost" way to dispose of their radio active waste? send it to the steel mill mixed with scrap metal.

    it is possible to have trace amounts of naturally occurring radio active material in iron ore. I know coal has trace amounts of RA thorium, and when the fly ash is used in concrete products it too will give a radio active reading, usually not too high however.
  4. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Spot on.


    That's how we have arrived where we are now.
  5. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    When all the furore over Fukushima was riff here with TEPCO not telling the truth etc (business as usual in Japan), there was an iphone app released to turn your iphone into an instant geiger counter. Not sure how accurate it is or if it is still available.

    That's what I call cheap! :p
  6. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I wonder if there is a ten inch tablesaw with Bessemer fence app for my iphone.
  7. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    My understanding is that all stainless manufactured after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs contains some radiation. Just not the level you are referring to!.

    Apparently stainless manufactured prior to '45 is in high demand and is very expensive with seabed salvage being used for recovery. Certain applications require 0% radioactive (or as close as possible) in the steel make up.

    Note that almost all p*******ns claim nuclear power to be totally safe, so Fukushima will be repopulated in the next year?. :D
  8. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    No one claims nuclear power is 100% safe.
    Except those who want to prove it is 100% unsafe.
  9. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I'm not sure how this post 1945 business would apply, iron ore and nickel ore etc mined to make the product would not be contaminated by atom bomb detonations, it has been locked up underground as solid ore. If the answer is it gets contaminated during processing, I see the same thing happening to salvaged stainless as it is re-processed. And the seabed where this metal lay would be more likely contaminated than buried ores.
    1 person likes this.
  10. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Try this article.

    Even 30 years ago my old engineering lecturer gave us some insight into it, and more recently a colleague experienced in aviation design confirmed some of this is still necessary.

    BTW no one has fully decomissioned a n/power station yet to background. Phase 1 at Dounreay is 90 if you need a long term project management job....

    Be good to see solutions though.
  11. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    You'd reckon there would be plenty of pre-bomb iron and steel in old bridge demolitions etc without looking for sunken ships. And the nickel......what about coins, they're even conveniently dated ! Don't know where the chromium might be sourced though.
  12. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Not just Nuclear testing creates radioactive steel.

    Kansas Department of Health and Environment Radiation Control Program
    June 28, 2010

    Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) can concentrate as the result of human activities such as oil and gas operations, mining, water treatment, etc. This material, when technologically enhanced (TE), can present serious health and safety hazards if it is not handled and disposed of properly. TENORM associated with uranium, thorium, and their associated decay series is of the greatest concern. In Kansas, the most common problem associated with TENORM is oil and gas field pipe removed from the ground that is recycled as scrap metal. The pipes are lined with scale that contains small quantities of radium. Some pipes contain enough radium to alarm radiation detectors at scrap yards and steel mills. Radium is chemically similar to calcium, barium, and strontium, and is readily incorporated into pipe scale. "
  13. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    The oil industry...particularly the offshore industry is a major problem

    The Brent Spar ?

    When this gear reaches its service life it it heavily polluted and radioactive
  14. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    There's a lot of background radiation in some of the igneous rocks in the SW UK. A lot of radon in them, one newly laid road surface made from such rock (granite) had to be pulled up and relaid the levels were so high!.
    Anyone buying a house in the SW UK in particular can search online for the known high radon concentration areas. Homes on it have to have special venting etc to avoid high levels of radioactive contamination inside the building.

  15. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    There is a lot of background/normaly occuring radiation that nobody notices or cares about. Most granite stone buildings have a background of ~ 0.1 mREM, and the sand in most Brazilian beaches has a loose surface contamination of more than 450 micro-micro Ci per 10 square cm (i.e. would require full anti-C's). I always liked this chart because is shows how laughably low radiation exposure is controlled at:

    Compared to lives lost due to oil-gas-coal exploration-minimg-transport nuclear power is unbeliveably safe....which is why nobody who hasn't done thier homework belives it. FWIW, a look into most nuclear power plant accidents (and almost all with release) shows that the problems were caused by improper operator actions or sabotage, not the plant itself.

    BTW, the best geiger calbration lab is a pre-Trinity cast steel barbette from an unfinished Iowa class
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