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    Chernobyl products half life analysis

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    Among the radioactive products emitted in the 1986 Chernobyl reactor accident were 131I (t1/2 = 8 days) and 137Cs(t1/2 = 30 years). There are about five times as many 137Cs atoms produced in fission.

    a) Which isotope contributes the greater activity to the radiation cloud? Assume the reactor has been operating continuously for several days before the radiation is released.

    b) How long after the original incident does it take for the two activities to become equal?

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    Solution Summary

    The solution compares the lives of two products of the Chernobyl reactor based on their half lifes.