Good news for lovers of physics and nuclear technology - but bad news for those who dream of the laurels of a supervillain and creator of mega-weapons. Uranium, the basis of a nuclear bomb and raw materials for nuclear power plants, turned out to be very easy to buy in an online store, on a regular Amazon. But he is not suitable for even creating a dirty bomb, let alone a personal reactor for the Iron Man suit.
Journalists from the Popular Mechanics portal learned about an eccentric Instagrammer, to whom the police came to his house together with the FBI, when he published a photo with the caption "I bought real uranium." But he was not even arrested because the deal was legal. The reporters immediately decided to try their luck and a quick search led them to the products of the company Images Scientific Instruments, Inc. A jar of real uranium with a capacity of about 200 ml retails for $ 39.95.
The secret is that the jar contains the uranium-238 isotope, the most abundant in nature. Unlike the isotope uranium-235, which is used in nuclear power, the 238th is practically safe for humans. Its half-life is as much as 4.5 billion years, no risk of a chain reaction, minimal radioactivity. No, wearing it at the heart on a chain or eating it is categorically not recommended, but for educational purposes - please.
In fact, the bank contains not pure uranium, but just raw materials from the dump of a uranium mine where radioactive ore is mined. The company emphasizes that it does not carry out any analyzes, therefore, in addition to the uranium itself, there may be particles of thorium, potassium, rhodon or radium. The sale and shipment of such ore is carried out in accordance with federal laws, it is absolutely legal. One of the areas of application of such "non-hazardous" uranium is the verification of radiation counters, detectors and sensors used in civilian facilities.