Question

(a) Use Fig. 29.21 to explain why there is essentially no naturally occurring 239Pu in or on the Earth at present.
(b) Use the information in the figure to explain why there is very little (but not zero) 235U naturally occurring in or on the Earth.
(c) For every 1000 kg of 239P that might have been present at the time the Earth was formed, how much is currently left? Does this corroborate the qualitative reasoning in part (a)?
(d) Estimate how much 235U would be left from each 1000 kg of 239P. Because the 239P half-life is so short compared to that of 235U, you can assume that the full 1000 kg of 239P decayed into 235U while no significant decay of that nucleus occurred. Does this corroborate the qualitative reasoning in part (b)?


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  • CreatedAugust 29, 2015
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