Monday, September 24, 2012

Polonium Astatine Radon Francium Radium Actinium

Polonium (Po #84) 
Astatine (At #85)
Radon (Rn #86)
Francium (Fr #87)
Radium (Ra #88)
Actinium (Ac #89)

The next element on the periodic table for my APEX mineral collection does not include any of the above elements.  We have just about reached the limits of mineral collecting.  Everything here is radioactive and very rare. These elements most certainly exist in trace amounts in various Uraniun/Throium based ores but no minerals per se have these elements.
Small amounts of these elements are produced in nuclear reactors for industrial use.

  • Polonium is used as an atomic heat source to power radioisotope thermoelectric generators.
  • Astatine is important in nuclear medicine.  With a half-life of 7 hours it must be produced and used quite quickly!!
  • Radon is used for the calibration of Radon measurement systems!!  Radon gas seeps from the ground in many areas and can collect in buildings which can be quite dangerous.
  • Francium has no use since the most stable isotope has a half-life of 22 minutes.
  • Radium is used for cancer treatments
  • Actinium is currently not used industrially