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Should we begin to manufacture one of the most destuctive and infamous substances on the face of the Earth once again The engineers say yes but the public says no The United States stopped making this element with the ban on manufacturing nuclear weapons But with the continuing problem with our ever diminishing energy sources some want us to begin using more nuclear energy and less energy from natural resources This paper is going to discuss what plutonium is the advantages and disadvantages of its use and why we should think about restarting the production of this useful element In 1941 a scientist at the University of California Berkeley dicovered something that would chang our planet forever The mans name Glenn T Seaborg discovered the element plutonium Plutonium or Pu 94 on the periodic table is one of the most unstable elements on the Earth It is formed when Uranium 235 another highly unstable element absorbs a neutron Plutonium is a silvery-white metal that has a very high density of 19816 gcm3 It has been rarely found in the earths crust but the majority of the substance has to be produced in the cores of nuclear reactorsPlutonium can be found fifteen different forms or isotopes and their mass number can range from 232-246 Radionuclide batteries used in pacemakers use Pu-238 while Pu-239 is used in reactors and for Nuclear weapons This paper will focus on the isotopes Pu-238 and Pu-239 Plutonium can be very advantageous for the United States It can be used for several purposes The three major advantages to using this element are for an energy source power for nuclear propulsion in space exploration and thermo-electric generators in cardiac pacemakers The first use for plutonium
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