Watchdog cleared tritium shipment to Iran

By | March 24, 2006

Watchdog cleared tritium shipment to Iran

Sale of 70,000 glow-in-the-dark lights okayed by nuclear agency… The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission approved a shipment to Iran last year by a Canadian company of about 70,000 glow-in-the-dark lights containing tritium, a radioactive gas that can also be used as a component in hydrogen bombs.

The amount of tritium approved by the nuclear regulator for shipment to the volatile Middle Eastern country was about 10 per cent of the quantity considered necessary for making one nuclear weapon ( To produce a 1 kt fusion yield 12.5 g of tritium and 5 g of deuterium are required. ), although the company selling the lights, SRB Technologies (Canada) Inc., said it sent less than it was allowed. … Canada is one of the world’s biggest sources of tritium because Candu reactors generate large quantities of it as a waste product. Ontario Power Generation extracts about 2.5 kilograms of it a year. Tritium is one of the world’s most expensive substances, selling for about $25,000 a gram. – GAM

I’m guessing there is about 74 micrograms of tritium per light? I’d never heard of these until today, but years ago I interviewed a man who claimed to have seen aliens. He also said he’d been inside Mt. Shasta to meet the Lemurians. He described their light source as very dim lights in the walls that glow for many years but are harmless due to radiation shielding glass. Tritium lights were invented in the 1960s as a reliable self-powered light source for NATO, and they glow for 10 to 20 years. Found this on Tritium Glow Lights:

Tritium (heavy hydrogen with two neutrons) is radioactive, emitting beta particles with a low energy of 18 keV, and having a 12 year half life. besides being useful when building hydrogen bombs, it also has numerous other applications.

A variety of items are sold containing tritium and phosphors, which glow in the dark. Examples include compasses, wristwatches, and glow in the dark keychains, as well as emergency exit signs. The tritium betas excite the phosphors, causing them to glow with visible light. A few microns of plastic is sufficient to block the betas, so the items are quite safe. Unless you were to open one, I guess. Some of thse things have several curies of tritium in them. I don’t know what the health effects would be of exposure. Probably not as bad as from the phosphors!

Update! They may not be quite so safe… I decided to place one on a pancake GM detector. The readings went from 55 CPM background to about 210 CM. I then removed the actual glass tube (with the tritium and phosphors) from the plastic holder, and the reading jumped to about 690 CPM. I suspect that the betas are hitting the glass, and creating x-rays, with a peak energy of 18 keV. The plastic absorbs most, but not all, of them.

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