Tuesday, December 2, 2008




DV8 2XL said...

I became very familiar with beryllium many years ago when I was working in a shop that fabricated bushings from beryllium-copper for the aerospace sector. It was unpleasant material to work with as it tends to form long, stringy, tough chips when turned which cause clearance problems, and it work hardens terribly at low feed rates, unacceptable on thin-walled parts. Of course it's toxicity also meant a great deal of fuss keeping things clean and disposing contaminated cutting fluids and so on. In general it was a pain in the butt to handle.

As toxic metals go beryllium is right up there, and it always amused me how much fuss was made over the few kilos of DU that were used as trim weights on aircraft, but nobody ever says at thing about all the beryllium that was used on these same birds.

Kirk Sorensen said...

...but it's magic stuff for a LFTR!

Beryllium has a very low neutron absorption cross-section, does not require any isotopic enrichment (unlike lithium) and in combination with lithium can form a low-melting-point carrier salt capable of dissolving large quantities of uranium and thorium.


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