Nuclear Bestiary

Element Licit Use Illicit Use
Americium 241 Alpha particle source Fraud
"Dirty bombs"
Beryllium Neutron reflector in reactors or bombs Illicit reactors
Nuclear Weapons
Cesium 137 Radiation source for industrial or
medical applications;
Present in radioactive waste from reactors
Fraud
"Dirty bombs"
Cobalt 60 Gamma radiation source for industrial
or medical applications
Fraud
"Dirty bombs"
Lithium 6 Thermonuclear weapons Thermonuclear weapons
Plutonium Alpha particle source
Nuclear weapons
Nuclear reactor fuel
Fraud
Thermonuclear weapons
"Dirty bombs"
Polonium 210 Alpha particle source
Neutron source or industrial applications
Nuclear weapons
"Dirty bombs"
Uranium Nuclear reactor fuel
Nuclear weapons
Fraud
Nuclear weapons
"Dirty bombs"
Zirconium Structural material for nuclear reactors Illicit reactors

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National Science FoundationNational Science Digital LibraryNuclear Pathways Member SiteThis project is part of the National Science Digital Library and was funded by the Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation Grant 0434253