Americium-241

  • americium-241, 241am
    americium button hd.jpg
    small button containing 241amo2 from a smoke alarm
    general
    symbol241am
    namesamericium-241, am-241
    protons95
    neutrons146
    nuclide data
    natural abundance0 (synthetic)
    half-life432.2 years
    parent isotopes241pu (β)
    241cm (ec)
    245bk (α)
    decay products237np
    isotope mass241.056829144 u
    spin5/2−
    excess energy52936.008 kev
    binding energy7543.272 kev
    decay modes
    decay modedecay energy (mev)
    α-decay (alpha)5.486
    γ-emission (gamma)0.0595409
    cd (cluster decay)93.923
    isotopes of americium
    complete table of nuclides

    americium-241 (241am, am-241) is an isotope of americium. like all isotopes of americium, it is radioactive, with a half-life of 432.2 years. 241am is the most common isotope of americium as well as the most prevalent isotope of americium in nuclear waste. it is commonly found in ionization type smoke detectors and is a potential fuel for long-lifetime radioisotope thermoelectric generators (rtgs). its common parent nuclides are β from 241pu, ec from 241cm, and α from 245bk. 241am is fissile and the critical mass of a bare sphere is 57.6-75.6 kilograms and a sphere diameter of 19–21 centimeters.[1] americium-241 has a specific activity of 3.43 ci/g (curies per gram or 126.8 gigabecquerels (gbq) per gram).[2] it is commonly found in the form of americium-241 dioxide (241amo2). this isotope also has one meta state, 241mam, with an excitation energy of 2.2 mev and a half-life of 1.23 μs. the presence of americium-241 in plutonium is determined by the original concentration of plutonium-241 and the sample age. because of the low penetration of alpha radiation, americium-241 only poses a health risk when ingested or inhaled. older samples of plutonium containing plutonium-241 contain a buildup of 241am. a chemical removal of americium-241 from reworked plutonium (e.g. during reworking of plutonium pits) may be required in some cases.

  • nucleosynthesis
  • decay
  • applications
  • hazards
  • references

Americium-241, 241Am
Americium button hd.jpg
Small button containing 241AmO2 from a smoke alarm
General
Symbol241Am
Namesamericium-241, Am-241
Protons95
Neutrons146
Nuclide data
Natural abundance0 (synthetic)
Half-life432.2 years
Parent isotopes241Pu (β)
241Cm (EC)
245Bk (α)
Decay products237Np
Isotope mass241.056829144 u
Spin5/2−
Excess energy52936.008 keV
Binding energy7543.272 keV
Decay modes
Decay modeDecay energy (MeV)
α-decay (alpha)5.486
γ-emission (gamma)0.0595409
CD (cluster decay)93.923
Isotopes of americium
Complete table of nuclides

Americium-241 (241Am, Am-241) is an isotope of americium. Like all isotopes of americium, it is radioactive, with a half-life of 432.2 years. 241Am is the most common isotope of americium as well as the most prevalent isotope of americium in nuclear waste. It is commonly found in ionization type smoke detectors and is a potential fuel for long-lifetime radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). Its common parent nuclides are β from 241Pu, EC from 241Cm, and α from 245Bk. 241Am is fissile and the critical mass of a bare sphere is 57.6-75.6 kilograms and a sphere diameter of 19–21 centimeters.[1] Americium-241 has a specific activity of 3.43 Ci/g (curies per gram or 126.8 gigabecquerels (GBq) per gram).[2] It is commonly found in the form of americium-241 dioxide (241AmO2). This isotope also has one meta state, 241mAm, with an excitation energy of 2.2 MeV and a half-life of 1.23 μs. The presence of americium-241 in plutonium is determined by the original concentration of plutonium-241 and the sample age. Because of the low penetration of alpha radiation, americium-241 only poses a health risk when ingested or inhaled. Older samples of plutonium containing plutonium-241 contain a buildup of 241Am. A chemical removal of americium-241 from reworked plutonium (e.g. during reworking of plutonium pits) may be required in some cases.