What is Plutonium
Plutonium (pronounced as ploo-TOE-nee-em) is a naturally-occurring radioactive element that belongs to the family of actinide metals. It reacts readily with oxygen, carbon, silicon, nitrogen, and halogens to form stable compounds . Denoted by the chemical symbol Pu, it has 17 isotopes with mass numbers ranging from 227 to 248 of which Pu-224 is the most stable having a half-life of 80.8 million years  [3, 4].
Where is Plutonium Found
The main sources of Pu are uranium ores, but most of it is man-made, obtained from irradiated uranium in nuclear reactors through reprocessing. Another method to produce Pu is by reducing plutonium tetrafluoride with calcium .
Origin of its Name: The name of the element has come from the planet Pluto .
Who Discovered it: Glenn Seaborg, Arthur Wahl, Joseph Kennedy, and Edwin McMillan 
Discovery Date: December, 1940
When, Where, and How was it Discovered
In December 1940 at Berkeley, California, Seaborg, Wahl, Kennedy, McMillan produced an unknown element by bombarding uranium-238 with deuterium nuclei. It was recognized to be neptunium-238 with a half-life of 2 days that underwent beta decay to form another new element. After a detailed study, its characteristics were found to be similar to uranium .
|Atomic number||94 |
|CAS number||7440-07-5 |
|Position in the periodic table ||Group||Period||Block|
Classification, Properties and Characteristics of Plutonium
|Relative atomic mass|| |
|Atomic mass/weight||244 atomic mass units |
|Molar mass||238.049 g/mole |
|Melting point/freezing point||640°C (1184°F) |
|Boiling point||3228°C (5842°F) |
|Density||19.7 g/cm3 |
|Standard state at room temperature (solid/liquid/gas)||Solid |
|Oxidation states||6, 5, 4, 3 |
Atomic Data of Plutonium (Element 94)
|Valence electrons||2 |
|Quantum numbers |
|Electron configuration (noble gas configuration)||[Rn] 5f67s2|
|Atomic structure |
|– Number of Electrons||94|
|– Number of Neutrons||150|
|– Number of Protons||94|
|Radius of atom|
|– Atomic Radius||2.43 Å |
|– Covalent Radius||1.80 Å |
|Ionization energy 
What is Plutonium Used for
- Weapon-grade plutonium, extracted as a byproduct of uranium fuel rods that has been irradiated for two to three months in a reactor, is useful in the military field .
- Plutonium-238 pellets with a half-life of 87.7 years is an effective source of electricity for radioactive thermoelectric generators used in space probes . It has also been used to power some cardiac pacemakers .
- Pu-239 is used in several nuclear power plant reactors and weapons as a source of energy .
- Plutunium-244 is used in some basic scientific studies .
Does it Have Any Toxic Effects
Prolonged inhalation of Pu can cause lung cancer, liver cancer, and bone sarcoma as it accumulates in the body and stays for a longer period, making it a lethal poison .
- Pu turns into a liquid upon reaching its melting point, exhibiting higher-than-normal viscosity, density, and surface tension .
- When the element is exposed to air, a coating of plutonium oxide forms on the surface that has pyrophoric properties, causing it to glow in the dark 
- Fat man, a massive atomic bomb with a plutonium core, weighing about 6.2 kg, was dropped on Nagasaki during the World War 2 .
How Much is the Price of Plutonium
The cost of the pure element may vary between $4000 and $6000 per gram.
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