National Low-Level Waste Management Program Radionuclide Report Series: Volume 12, Cobalt-60

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This report outlines the basic radiological and chemical characteristics of cobalt-60 ({sup 60}Co) and examines how these characteristics affect the behavior of {sup 60}Co in various environmental media, such as soils, groundwater, plants, animals, the atmosphere, and the human body. Discussions also include methods of {sup 60}Co production, waste types, and waste forms that contain {sup 60}Co. All cobalt atoms contain 27 protons (Z = 27) and various numbers of neutrons (typically N = 27 to 37 neutrons) within the atom`s nucleus. There is only one stable isotope of cobalt, namely {sup 59}Co. All other cobalt isotopes, including {sup 60}Co, ... continued below

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40 p.

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Adams, J.P. June 1, 1995.

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Description

This report outlines the basic radiological and chemical characteristics of cobalt-60 ({sup 60}Co) and examines how these characteristics affect the behavior of {sup 60}Co in various environmental media, such as soils, groundwater, plants, animals, the atmosphere, and the human body. Discussions also include methods of {sup 60}Co production, waste types, and waste forms that contain {sup 60}Co. All cobalt atoms contain 27 protons (Z = 27) and various numbers of neutrons (typically N = 27 to 37 neutrons) within the atom`s nucleus. There is only one stable isotope of cobalt, namely {sup 59}Co. All other cobalt isotopes, including {sup 60}Co, are radioactive. The radioactive isotopes of cobalt have half-lives ranging from less than a second ({sup 54}Co-0.19 s) to 5.2 years ({sup 60}Co). The radioactive isotopes of cobalt are not a normal constituent of the natural environment and are generated as a result of human activities. The primary source of {sup 60}Co in the environment has been low-level radioactive waste material generated as a result of neutron activation of stable {sup 59}Co that is present in the structural components of nuclear reactor vessels. This isotope is also intentionally produced, usually in reactors but also to some degree in accelerators for industrial and medical uses, such as for radiation sources for cancer treatment and nondestructive testing of metals and welds. {sup 60}Co may enter the environment as a result of the activities associated with nuclear reactor operations and decommissioning and when industrial and medical sources are being used, manufactured, or disposed.

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40 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE95017655

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  • Other Information: PBD: Jun 1995

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  • Other: DE95017655
  • Report No.: DOE/LLW--128
  • Grant Number: AC07-94ID13223
  • DOI: 10.2172/114670 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 114670
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc618559

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  • June 1, 1995

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • Feb. 24, 2016, 6:45 p.m.

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Adams, J.P. National Low-Level Waste Management Program Radionuclide Report Series: Volume 12, Cobalt-60, report, June 1, 1995; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc618559/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.