Sediment plutonium dating
About 3.5 tons of plutonium have been released into the environment by atomic bomb tests.
While the activity from the fission products has decayed away almost totally (as of 2006) the plutonium remains active.An abnormal implosion will result in a compression of the plutonium pit, which is less uniform and smaller than the designed compression in the device.In these experiments where no or very little nuclear fission occurs, plutonium metal has been scattered around the test sites.Plutonium can also be introduced into the environment via the reentry of artificial satellites containing atomic batteries.There have been several such incidents, the most prominent being the Apollo 13 mission.A recent paper Am were created by the neutron activation of barium and plutonium inside the bomb.
The barium was present in the form of the nitrate in the chemical explosives used while the plutonium was the fissile fuel used.
As the Plutonium has also been released into the environment in safety trials.
In these experiments, nuclear bombs have been subjected to simulated accidents or detonated with an abnormal initiation of their chemical explosives.
Most of this radioactive contamination over the years at Hanford and Mayak were part of normal operations, but unforeseen accidents did occur and plant management kept this secret, as the pollution continued unabated.
Even today, as pollution threats to health and the environment persist, the government keeps knowledge about the associated risks from the public.
Overall the health effects of fission products are far greater than the effects of the actinides released by a nuclear bomb detonation.