Friday, March 7, 2008

Phosphate and phosphate tailings

This is a picture of raw materials for a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors. It is also the picture of a significant radiation hazard
Phosphate mining tailings contain large amounts of recoverable fluoride, and significant amounts of recoverable uranium and thorium. Phosphate or can be so radioactive that it poses a radiation hazard to milling workers. Not all uranium and thorium is extracted in the phosphate milling process, and phosphate fertiliser contain significant amounts of uranium and thorium along with radioactive decay products. Ground water can become polluted by uranium and thorium from phosphate fertiliser, and phosphate tailings. Even more startling organic food growers are allowed to treat their fields with the raw, unprocessed phosphate tailings once every six years, without any prior extraction of uranium, thorium or radioactive daughter products. Not only can uranium and thorium enter ground water through phosphate fertiliser, but some authorities believe that Polonium 210 a daughter product present in phosphate fertiliser can become concentrated in plants like tobacco, and can be a significant source of tobacco related cancer.

Polonium 210 os extremely toxic and is believed to have been the poison used in the 2006 London murder of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident.

Phosphate tailings are considered so radioactive that they are not allowed to be used for wall-board filler or for road bed construction in the US and Canada.

The extraction of Uranium and Thorium from Phosphate ore and old phosphate mine tailings would make a large contribution to the elimination of significant radiation problems, as well as the elimination of toxic pollution of ground water.

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