ELECTROPLATING COBALT-60 WITHOUT RESIDUE
UTAH ENGINEERING EXPERIMENT STATION SALT LAKE CITY
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The article describes the production of 18 inch diameter magnetic pellets with uniformly contained Co-60 at the level of 1.0 plus or minus 0.2 curie per pound. Since these radioactive pellets were to be mechanically handled their protection against abrasion and corrosion was necessary. This was accomplished by plating a layer of nickel over the cobalt followed by a layer of cadmium on the outside of the pellet. The product was entirely satisfactory for the intended use, and many other uses can be conceived for a product of this nature, it being possible to fabricate from such pellets radiation sources of specified intensity and shape. The product is stable in most environments against removal of cobalt-60 either by abrasion or by chemical corrosion. By making heavy platings and by using an active nickel anode substantially all the Co can ultimately be plated out of the residual bath onto the iron pellets. This comes about because Co and Ni will plate out as an alloy with the plating being cobalt rich as compared to the electrolyte. Using a suitable cell or cave, now extensively used in radiation laboratories, one can carry out the operation without hazard to the operating personnel.
- Fabrication Metallurgy