RE: Uranyl Acetate Disposal

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From:jim <>
To:"'Paul Kwan'" <>, "" <>
Date:Thu, 5 Aug 1999 15:15:40 +1000
Content-Type:text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Hello Paul:
No, I will not quote on the disposal, but allow a comment. You may well need to 
operate under the rules established by some brainless Committee. Just to make 
you feel more despondent about the cost and the waste of scarce funds, its 
environmentally not smart either:
The quantity is actually 50g of UA or about 25g of uranium.
A few granite boulders hold that much, albeit well locked up.
Concrete even in a slightly acid environment (humic acid) dissolves slowly, but 
certainly a lot faster than the radiation is reduced to near background.
Furthermore, UA is fully soluble in water so its thread is greater in terms of 
chemical toxicity than from radiation.
Seepage into the groundwater is about the worse thread during long term 
storage. Burying, particularly in concrete which is also subject to fractures 
is not save.

As a poison UA it is not cumulative, so lead, cadmium or mercury are rather 
worse in that respect and dilution is an option.
Seawater contains 0.00015g U per ton. One cubic meter of freshwater weighs a 
ton. So a square km of ocean, just to the depths of one meter contains more 
than 150g of U.
There is something environmentally perverse about producing at an environmental 
cost a lump of concrete, to ship that to a far-away place and bury it, so we 
think that we have done the right thing.
Sensibly, UA is best disposed by great dilution. I suggest dripping it 
overboard on a cruise makes sense to me, its cheaper and rather more fun.
Jim Darley
ProSciTech                 Microscopy PLUS
PO Box 111, Thuringowa  QLD  4817  Australia
Ph +61 7 4774 0370  Fax:+61 7 4789 2313
Great microscopy catalogue, 500 Links, MSDS, User Notes

On Thursday, August 05, 1999 6:31 AM, Paul Kwan [] 
> Hi,
> We have just received an estimate for disposing 1,000ml of 5% uranyl acetate:
> $7,000. The solidified waste will be embedded in concrete and buried
> somewhere in Florida.
> Does anybody know of a less expensive way of disposing this waste.
> Uranyl acetate is used as a stain in our EM lab.
> Quotes from waste disposal vendors welcomed.
> Thank you,
> Paul Kwan
> New England Medical Center
> Boston

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