Navigation Links
Expert discovers simple method of dealing with harmful radioactive iodine
Date:5/24/2011

A novel way to immobilise radioactive forms of iodine using a microwave, has been discovered by an expert at the University of Sheffield.

Iodine radioisotopes are produced by fission of uranium fuel in a nuclear reactor. Radioactive iodine is of concern because it is highly mobile in the environment and selective uptake by the thyroid gland can pose a significant cancer risk following long term exposure. Furthermore, iodine-129, which is a type of radioactive iodine, has an extremely long half life of 15.7 million years, so is one of the most significant long term hazards faced by the population due to its emission during the geological disposal of nuclear waste.

Professor Neil Hyatt, from the University's Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has now found a way of locking up iodine radioisotopes in a durable, solid material suitable for ultimate disposal, like lead iodovanadinite(Pb5(VO4)3I). The research, which was published in the Journal of Nuclear Materials, demonstrates how his simple, inexpensive and rapid method can be done at atmospheric pressure.

Professor Hyatt and his team created a solid material for immobilisation of iodine with the formula Pb5(VO4)3I, by heating a mixture of lead iodide, lead oxide and vanadium oxide.

Previously, this has only been achieved using high pressure and a sealed container, because iodine is volatilised at high temperature. However, using the knowledge that vanadium is a good absorber of microwaves at 2.45 GHz the frequency used in domestic microwave ovens the team were able to heat the mixture of chemicals in a microwave oven to produce Pb5(VO4)3I in about three minutes.

The key to the method's success is that Pb5(VO4)3I is a poor absorber of 2.45 GHz microwaves, so once this is formed, the sample cannot absorb microwaves, so the temperature does not get high enough for the iodine to volatilise.

Iodine-131 was the harmful gas emitted from the Fukushima power plant in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami last month, and was a significant contributor to the health effects from open-air atomic bomb testing in the 1950s, and was also emitted during the Chernobyl disaster. It is hoped the new research will reduce the public health impact associated with the release of radioactive iodine to the environment by providing a simple and inexpensive method of immobilisation in a solid material, which could be rapidly deployed in an accident scenario.

Professor Neil Hyatt, said: "In spent nuclear fuel, the iodine is not immobilised, so once the containment is breached it simply gets dispersed. At present, iodine-129 released by nuclear fuel reprocessing is discharged direct to the Irish Sea off the coast of Sellafield. Substantial quantities of this radioisotope were also released into the sea off the coast of Japan in the Fukushima incident. Our new method offers a way of safely and rapidly containing this radionuclide, reducing the potential long term impact on human health from discharge to the environment."


'/>"/>

Contact: Shemina Davis
shemina.davis@sheffield.ac.uk
01-142-225-339
University of Sheffield
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Experts Issue Top 5 List for Better Primary Care
2. States should be allowed to implement key health reform law provisions early, experts say
3. Experts Say Cholesterol Screenings Should Start in Childhood
4. Stretch Before You Pick Up That Rake: Expert
5. Experts explore digital technologies potential to improve health care
6. Airlines Need Better Prep for In-Flight Medical Crises: Experts
7. Leading experts call for urgent action to avoid stroke crisis across Asia-Pacific region
8. Expert Suggests Skipping Pelvis When Scanning for Clots
9. Gynecologic cancer expert helps pinpoint best treatment for fast-growing gestational tumors
10. Experts Offer New Guidance for Blood Pressure Control in Elderly
11. Alzheimers Cases Could Double With New Guidelines: Expert
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... Stewart, GA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... Monday, May 16, 2016, at its new location in the Exchange Furniture Mall at ... a raffle for a 50-inch Samsung Smart TV. Plus attendees will have the opportunity ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Spine Team Texas, a comprehensive spine physician group ... of their physicians has been invited to be a featured speaker at the Texas ... conference on April 30, 2016. , Dr. R. Scott McPherson, a physical medicine ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Mobility Designed is redefining mobility with their patent pending ... Crutch evenly distributes body weight from the elbow to the forearm. In consumer ... than with other crutches. , Co-founders Max and Liliana Younger were inspired to design ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... Canadian Celiac Association (CCA), is pleased to announce the launch of the ... nutritional articles, recipes, and more. The purpose of the GFCP Scoop ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Dr. Robert Mondavi, one of ... improve smiles. Cosmetic dentistry is a fast-growing field as more patients are discovering the ... to learn more about the options currently available to them and which ones might ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... 27, 2016 Global  urinalysis ... billion by 2022, according to a new report ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150105/723757 ) , ... efficiency and accuracy delivered by the new generation ... novel urinalysis instruments and consumables. For instance, the ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... announced the launch of a Phase 2 clinical study ... hearing in patients undergoing cochlear implantation (CI) surgery. This ... patients in Germany and ... the middle ear at the time of surgery. "Despite ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC ... the Deutsche Bank 41 st Annual Health Care Conference ... You are invited to listen to the live discussion ... it directly at http://edge.media-server.com/m/p/mr4uxgas . A recorded replay of ... the live event and accessible at the links above until ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: