|Berkeley—Edwin McMillan, Philip Abelson elements|
- Dmitri Mendeleev left a place for it after uranium.
- Enrico Fermi bombarded uranium with neutrons and thought he made it,
- but he was probably seeing the results of splitting uranium atoms.
- Edwin McMillan began producing stuff with a cyclotron
- having a unique half-life of 2.3 days, and tried to isolate it,
- but the actinide series after radium hadn’t been established,
- so chemists were hampered by the mistaken assumption
- that element 93 would be chemically like rhenium.
- McMillan asked Philip Abelson to work with him on it.
- They found it was more like uranium than a rare earth
- and proved that element 93 was produced by decay of uranium.
Atomic number 93
- Neptunium is radioactive, poisonous,
- bioaccummulative, and a fire hazard.
- Nuclear power plants create isotopes
- with long half-lives, and we have no solution
- for storing this waste for thousands of years.
- It’s been interesting,
- but there’s no way
- to put it back into its box.