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(Daily Mail)   The hearing into the polonium-210 poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko has heard he was working for both British and Spanish intelligence agencies at the time of his death. In related news, there are no weeds around his grave for miles   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 14
    More: Obvious, Litvinenko, Russian Mafia, Spanish, Russia, Chechen, London hotels, prima facie case, KGB  
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3798 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Dec 2012 at 11:28 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-12-13 11:45:33 AM
3 votes:
False, Subby: Polonium-210 is an alpha emitter; alpha particles cannot penetrate much matter, maybe a few cell layers. Most of its radiation is absorbed by his cells, thus its great efficiency at killing him from head to toe. Thus there is little to no exposure to even his casket for the time being, and its 156-day half-life tells me that the activity remaining in his corpse is effectively zero.

Dwight Schrute, out.
2012-12-13 03:23:38 PM
2 votes:

jshine: Even if Po210 is an alpha emitter, what does it decay into? Is every nuclide in the decay chain also an alpha (and alpha only) emitter?


Stable lead (Pb-206).

aseras: It was tracked on two commercial planes. No one else got sick but several people were contaminated. Some left detectable trails that were tracked. Several cars and a taxi and places were contaminated. The servers and a bartender were contaminated as was Lits wife.

Google it there's tons of info and reports out about it.


Alpha particles, because of their relatively high mass and charge, travel very little distance even in air while depositing a LOT of energy (~30,000 ion pairs/inch) in the process. This makes them detectable in contamination surveys but not with a stand-off detector like neutron or gamma radiation. You can place portal monitors at airports, subways, weigh stations, you name it for gamma/neutron but alpha can really only be detected by placing an alpha survey meter in very close proximity to the object in question.

Alpha contamination isn't necessarily a death sentence, just like ingestion of lead isn't. It all has to do with:
1. Concentration/activity (more radioactivity, more dose, more harm... and Po-210/Pb-206 are regular-heavy-metal toxic as well)
2. Introduction path (inside body is bad, skin/clothing contamination not so much)
3. Health of victim (a robust immune system and quick medical response makes a huge difference)
4. Chemical interactions (some elements bio-accumulate and some get flushed out; Polonium and Lead stick around)

Any detection of the sloppily-handled Polonium source was done after the fact, because monitoring our world for random alpha sources in advance would be unbelievably time consuming.
2012-12-13 10:19:39 AM
2 votes:

Slaxl: Wow, a man who is now a Russian MP was actively engaged in treason, handing over information to foreign powers? That's going to have some repercussions, surely?


He's the prime suspect in the murder case, but the Russians won't extradite him. What better way to get back at him than by convincing the Russians that he was committing treason, so that they deal with him.

we're through the rabbit hole now.
2012-12-14 11:11:24 AM
1 votes:
Reminds me of the old movie D.O.A. where they poisoned the lead character with iridium. He was a dead man walking trying to figure out who killed him before he croaked.

www.eskimo.com

/What do you mean "I don't look murdered?"
2012-12-13 02:06:38 PM
1 votes:

jshine: factoryconnection: False, Subby: Polonium-210 is an alpha emitter; alpha particles cannot penetrate much matter, maybe a few cell layers. Most of its radiation is absorbed by his cells, thus its great efficiency at killing him from head to toe. Thus there is little to no exposure to even his casket for the time being, and its 156-day half-life tells me that the activity remaining in his corpse is effectively zero.

Dwight Schrute, out.

Even if Po210 is an alpha emitter, what does it decay into? Is every nuclide in the decay chain also an alpha (and alpha only) emitter?


lead-206 with only 1 of 100,000 decays resulting in a low level gamma
2012-12-13 01:57:59 PM
1 votes:
Russia had no idea at the time the western world could detect alpha particles. However, it wasn't until after the incident that they even tried to detect for alpha.
2012-12-13 01:42:29 PM
1 votes:

Beerguy: The part of this story that should be alarming to EVERYONE is that someone was able to safely transport Polonium-210 without detection.


It was detected. they had polonium everywhere. everyone the men touched, the tea shop and the cup they gave it to him and every car, building and item of clothing they wore was radioactive. It's a very interesting read.
2012-12-13 12:31:18 PM
1 votes:
The part of this story that should be alarming to EVERYONE is that someone was able to safely transport Polonium-210 without detection.
2012-12-13 12:29:46 PM
1 votes:

factoryconnection: Hot Carl To Go: While very informative, you are definitely a Debbie Downer this morning.

Sorry, I read this thing about the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack this morning that has placed my Jimmies in a severely "rustled" status. I'm not kidding: it was just about the worst thing I've read in a while.


Humans suck sometimes. Truly.
2012-12-13 12:14:50 PM
1 votes:
Some of the local fauna is mildly disturbing.

userserve-ak.last.fm
2012-12-13 11:59:59 AM
1 votes:

factoryconnection: Hot Carl To Go: While very informative, you are definitely a Debbie Downer this morning.

Sorry, I read this thing about the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack this morning that has placed my Jimmies in a severely "rustled" status. I'm not kidding: it was just about the worst thing I've read in a while.


You're disappointing the shiat out of us here, you know what we want to see but you keep not delivering:
3.bp.blogspot.com
2012-12-13 11:55:53 AM
1 votes:

factoryconnection: False, Subby: Polonium-210 is an alpha emitter; alpha particles cannot penetrate much matter, maybe a few cell layers. Most of its radiation is absorbed by his cells, thus its great efficiency at killing him from head to toe. Thus there is little to no exposure to even his casket for the time being, and its 156-day half-life tells me that the activity remaining in his corpse is effectively zero.

Dwight Schrute, out.


While very informative, you are definitely a Debbie Downer this morning.
mjg
2012-12-13 11:37:49 AM
1 votes:
+1 Subby. That made me laugh
2012-12-13 11:32:59 AM
1 votes:
In Putin's Russia government fights with mafia
 
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