Question
Large amounts of depleted uranium ($^{238}\textrm{U}$) are available as a by-product of uranium processing for reactor fuel and weapons. Uranium is very dense and makes good counter weights for aircraft. Suppose you have a 4000-kg block of $^{238}\textrm{U}$. (a) Find its activity. (b) How many calories per day are generated by thermalization of the decay energy? (c) Do you think you could detect this as heat? Explain.
1. $4.97\times 10^{10}\textrm{ Bq}$
2. $700 \textrm{ cal/day}$
3. $\Delta T = 0.7\textrm{C}^circ$. This would probably not be noticeable.
Solution Video