How long does thorium take to decay?
about 14 billion years
The time required for a radioactive substance to lose 50 percent of its radioactivity by decay is known as the half-life. The half-life of thorium- 232 is very long at about 14 billion years.
Why thorium is unstable?
Because of its large atomic size, high valence and electronegativity, thorium cannot form isomorphic series that involve major rock forming minerals and occurs mostly in accessory minerals. Under oxidizing conditions, thorium remains stable in the tetravalent state and is not soluble in aqueous solutions.
Does thorium undergo alpha decay?
Alpha decays occur with radioactive isotopes of radium, radon, uranium, and thorium.
What is thorium decay series?
The thorium series is one of three classical radioactive series beginning with naturally occurring thorium-232. This radioactive decay chain consists of unstable heavy atomic nuclei that decay through a sequence of alpha and beta decays until a stable nucleus is achieved.
How long does thorium waste last?
Thorium nuclear waste only stays radioactive for 500 years, instead of 10,000, and there is 1,000 to 10,000 times less of it to start with.
What are the 14 daughters of uranium?
Beginning with naturally occurring uranium-238, this series includes the following elements: astatine, bismuth, lead, polonium, protactinium, radium, radon, thallium, and thorium. All are present, at least transiently, in any natural uranium-containing sample, whether metal, compound, or mineral.
What is the beta decay of thorium-234?
When thorium-234 decays, it releases negatively charged radiation called beta particles. A beta particle is an electron emitted by an unstable nucleus. The symbol for a beta particle is 0e.
Why is thorium series 4n?
Within each series, therefore, the mass number of the members may be expressed as four times an appropriate integer (n) plus the constant for that series; thus, the thorium series is sometimes called the 4n series; the neptunium series, 4n + 1; the uranium series, 4n + 2; and the actinium series, 4n + 3.
What is uranium-235 or 4n 3 Series?
The 4n+3 chain of uranium-235 is commonly called the “actinium series”. Beginning with the naturally-occurring isotope U-235, this decay series includes the following elements: Actinium, astatine, bismuth, francium, lead, polonium, protactinium, radium, radon, thallium, and thorium.
Is thorium more efficient than uranium?
Thorium is safer and more efficient to mine than uranium, thus making it more environmentally friendly.  The percentage of thorium found in its ore is generally greater than the percentage of uranium found in its ore, so it is more cost-efficient.
What is the Libby half-life?
Further research by Libby and others established its half-life as 5,568 years (later revised to 5,730 ± 40 years), providing another essential factor in Libby’s concept. But no one had yet detected carbon-14 in nature— at this point, Korff and Libby’s predictions about radiocarbon were entirely theoretical.
Is thorium-234 radioactive?
Each of the three is the ancestor of a distinct family of natural radioactive elements, perhaps the most important of which is that of uranium 238. A nucleus of uranium 238 decays by alpha emission to form a daughter nucleus, thorium 234.
What is the decay energy of 232 thorium?
It has a decay energy of 0.39 MeV. It has a mass of 231.0363043 grams/mole. 232Th is the only primordial nuclide of thorium and makes up effectively all of natural thorium, with other isotopes of thorium appearing only in trace amounts as relatively short-lived decay products of uranium and thorium.
What is the decay constant of radioactive decay?
The radioactive decay law states that the probability per unit time that a nucleus will decay is a constant, independent of time. This constant is called the decay constant and is denoted by λ, “lambda”. This constant probability may vary greatly between different types of nuclei, leading to the many different observed decay rates.
What happens when 232Th is loaded in a nuclear reactor?
If this fertile material is loaded in the nuclear reactor, the nuclei of 232 Th absorb a neutron and become nuclei of 233 Th.
Does 232 Th belong to primordial nuclides?
Therefore 232 Th belongs to primordial nuclides. 232 Th decays via alpha decay into 228 Ra. 232 Th occasionally decays by spontaneous fission with a very low probability of 1.1 x 10 -9 %. 232 Th is a fertile isotope. 232 Th is not capable of undergoing a fission reaction after absorbing a thermal neutron.