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Hot Dates

Not what you thought
 
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The graph of tritium levels in earth's water over time looks like this: A flat line stretching from the beginning of history to the fifties, a large spike, and then back down to background.

This is due to nuke testing back in the day. This information was used by researchers to date water samples, people's ages, etc; however the half-life of tritium is only 12 years or so. Bomb tritium is becoming less useful as a research tool.

Clearly, we need to detonate a large number of nuclear devices every thirty years or so, to allow easy radiological dating within that time period. The benefits would be great in hydrology, solving old crimes, biological research, and countless other fields.

GutPunchLullabies, Dec 12 2007

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       Brilliant! Now we don't even need the excuse of war to let off our nukes!   

       Presumably this involves the production of antique nukes with a similar radiation signature to those produced in the 50's?
wagster, Dec 12 2007
  

       Aren't there other nuclearly-generated isotopes with longer half-lives? Strontium-90, for instance, is about 30 years.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2007
  

       Yes, but tritiated water is readily absorbed by all organic life (but not non-organic life, i.e. cats)   

       This idea merits further consideration.
8th of 7, Dec 12 2007
  

       Strontium is also absorbed by all organic life, if it's travelling fast enough.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2007
  

       "Stop, 8th, stop; this is a restricted area - the bomb's about to go off!"
"But I haven't strapped these cats to it yet."
{8th sprints past boggled security guard, unhappy wailing baskets swinging and bumping from his shoulders}
  

       The guard is still boggling when a distraught tellytubby runs past in the other direction, dragging the same baskets, with 8th in hot pursuit.
pertinax, Dec 13 2007
  

       Yeah, but what self-respecting guard would let a teletubby within sight without opening fire?
Custardguts, Dec 13 2007
  

       ahem.
po, Dec 13 2007
  

       "Full......metal....... jacket........"   

       <Clickclick-kersnick sound of round being chambered>
8th of 7, Dec 13 2007
  

       "How can you shoot teletubbies and cats??"
"It's easy - you just don't lead 'em so much."
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 13 2007
  

       Perhaps this would be useful if these nuclear explosions were also used for other purposes, such as research.
apocalyps956, Dec 14 2007
  
      
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