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 Particle Zoo |

     93    

93 Np Neptunium

Actinoid, mass: 237 u, no stable isotopes, abundance rank (earth/space): 89/?

Photo: Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2002, released as public domain, 6 kg heavy neptunium 237 sphere.

Neptunium

Neptunium, a radioactive, silver heavy metal, is quite stable for an element with a high and odd atomic number, 237Np has a half-life of 2 million years. On Earth, it naturally occurs in tiny traces in uranium ore, but it is found in much bigger amounts in nuclear waste. So far it is scarcely used, although it is fissionable. Like with every nuclear waste, there is no method of a reasonable disposal. Most of it decays to protactinium.