Plutonium-239 is a plutonium isotope provided to manufacture atom weapons. Plutonium-239, along with uranium-233 and also uranium-235, is one of the three principal isotopes offered as a fuel in atom reactors.

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Plutonium-239 Nucleus

There are 145 Neutrons and 94 protons in the Plutonium-239 isotope.

Plutonium-239 Symbol

The symbol denoting Plutonium-239 is created as 239Pu.

Production of Plutonium-239

Plutonium-239 to be originally formed at the start of the universe. However, having a half-life of only about 24,200 years, naturally emerging traces the Plutonium-239 is hard to find. Trace quantities of this metal are still developed these days once terrestrial Uranium-238 reaction with sun rays. However, this steel nowadays is greatly synthesized artificially. Plutonium-239 is produced from Uranium-238 in nuclear reactors. This reaction is explained below:

Firstly, Uranium-238 is struck with a high-energy neutron and is converted into Uranium-239 with the absorb of a neutron.In the final stage, Neptunium-239 loses an electron and also an anti-neutrino fragment to type Plutonium-239.


snapshot 1 – Plutonium-239 source –

Plutonium-239 Properties

The nature of Plutonium-239 are defined below:


Plutonium-239 is solid metal with a glowing silvery color.

Critical Mass

The an important mass the this metal for a uniform ball is 11 kg.

Critical Diameter

The critical diameter of Plutonium-239 for a uniform ball is 10.2 cm.

Isotope Mass

The Isotope massive of this steel is 239.0521634 u.

Decay Mode

Plutonium-239 decays through spontaneous fission while emitting alpha particles.

Decay Energy

While experience decomposition, Plutonium-239 releases power close come 5.245 MeV.

Branching Ratio

Some radiation materials can undergo decomposition by an ext than one method. The ratio between the various kinds the particles produced from together decomposition is dubbed the branching proportion of the material. The branching ratio for Plutonium-239 is 100%.

Daughter Nuclide

While experience decomposition, it produces Uranium-235 together a daughter nuclide.

Magnetic Dipole Moment

Magnetic dipole moment steps the magnetic strength of a present coil or a magnet. In radioactivity, the orbiting electrons of one atom are stated to have actually a magnetic dipole moment. The magnetic dipole moment of Plutonium-239 is 0.203 μN.

Specific Activity

In radioactivity, certain activity is the variety of decays per second per amount of substance, where the quantity of problem is one of two people the fixed or volume the the substance. It is denoted through the symbol SA. The particular activity of Plutonium-239 is 2.2966 GBq/g.


The solubility that Plutonium-239 in water relies on the necessary ligands present and also on the redox and pH of the water.

Plutonium-239 Half-Life

In radioactivity, the half-life is characterized as the duration of time bring away by a certain amount of a radioactive element undergoing decomposition come be diminished by half. The half-life because that Plutonium-239 is 24,200 years.

Plutonium-239 radioactive Decay

The atom nucleus the Plutonium-239 is unstable; it in order to loses energy to reach a stable stage. This procedure is known as radiation decay. Plutonium-239 releases energy of about 5.245 MeV v radioactive decay.

Plutonium-239 degeneration Equation

The complying with equation reflects the alpha decomposition the Plutonium-239:

94239Pu → 92235U + 24He

Here the helium nucleus 24He has acquired atomic number 2 and mass number 4. Helium right here denotes the alpha particle. Hence this equation can additionally be created as

94239Pu → 92235U + α

Plutonium-239 decay Chain

The decay process of Plutonium-239 produces Uranium-235 as the daughter nuclide. Lead-207 is the stable facet produced in ~ the finish of this Alpha degeneration chain. The finish decay chain is to express in the following reaction:

Plutonium-239 → Uranium-235 → Thorium-231 → Protactinium-231 → Actinium-227 → Thorium-227 → Radium-233 → Radon-219 → Polonium-215 → Lead-211 → Bismuth-211 → Thallium-207 → Lead-207

Plutonium-239 Fission Reaction

Plutonium-239 undergoes fission reaction once it is bombarded by quick or slow-moving neutrons. When a sluggish neutron is absorbed by this isotope, the fissile reaction produces more than two neutrons. A consistent chain reaction is initiated in instance one of these resultant neutrons division down another plutonium nucleus.

Plutonium-239 Uses

Plutonium-239 with high levels of purity deserve to be developed in huge quantities. Because of its properties, that is generally used in nuclear power reactors and in the manufacturing of atom weapons. The assorted uses that Pu-239 are disputed below:

Plutonium-239 gathered native dismounted atom weapons as well as from nuclear reactors is vital source of power to generate electricity. Almost around 10 million kilowatt-hours of electrical power are created by one kilogram of Pu-239.Almost one-third that the power that is produced in a commercial atomic power plant originates from plutonium fissions. The fission reaction the Plutonium-239 can be hosted in the same fuel rods wherein it is produced.Small portions of Pu-239 have the right to be added to newly-manufactured nuclear fuel to produce MOX fuel or combined oxide fuel, which contains a mix of plutonium oxide and uranium oxide.Plutonium-239 is an essential fissile material used in the manufacturing of atom weapons. Implosion systems are constructed using Pu-239.

Plutonium-239 Contamination and Health Risks

Plutonium-239 is a dangerous carcinogenic substance. early to countless nuclear experiments over the critical 50 years, almost 10,000 kilograms that this substance have been released into the atmosphere. Release from weapons and other inadvertently releases have caused much regional contaminations. Pu-239 is an overwhelming to track and detect when it is released in the atmosphere or has actually been absorbed in the body.

In animals, it has actually been found that high exposure come this substance causes respiratory street diseases, lessened life spans, and even cancer.

Pu-239 Alpha Radiation Effects

The carcinogenic impact of Pu-239 comes from its alpha (α) radiation. Alpha particles room heavier than the beta and gamma particles and travel a short distance in ~ living tissue while continuously hitting the tissues and cells nearby.

Inside the body, Plutonium-239 is mainly deposited in soft tissues, e.g., the liver, the bone marrow, ~ above bone surfaces and also other non-calcified bone areas.

Gamma radiation that Plutonium-239 is weak; thus a high amount of this problem is compelled to cause gamma radiation effects.

Pu-239 results in person Body

Accidental sloop down of the product is rather low as are the risks connected with it. The main health danger native this substance originates from inhaling this problem which can reason damage to the tissues of the bronchial tubes and lungs. That can likewise accidentally be absorbed in the blood stream through abrasions and also cuts. Deposits of Pu-239 might ultimately reason cancer in the lengthy run.

The half-life that this problem in the human body varies on whereby it is deposited. In the human liver, it has a half-life of 20 years and in the bones, the is roughly 50 years.

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Of all the isotopes of plutonium, Plutonium-239 is the one most widely used. Although considered to be one of the most carcinogenic of all radioactive substances, the has discovered widespread usage in nuclear reactors and also in the generation the electricity.