Agent Name

Curium

CAS Number

7440-51-9

Formula

Cm

Major Category

Physical/Radiation

Category

Radionuclides

Description

A man-made radioactive metal with a melting point of 1345 degrees C; Known isotopes have mass numbers of 238-251; Cm-247 is the isotope with the longest half life; [Merck Index # 2675]

Sources/Uses

Cm-242 and Cm-244 are used to power batteries for space and medical devices; Cm-248 is used in research accelerators to produce other elements; [Merck Index #2675] Curium is produced from plutonium and americium by neutron capture in nuclear reactors. Six of the curium isotopes have half-lives longer than 20 years and are defined as transuranic wastes (TRU) produced in nuclear reactors. [Argonne]

Comments

Most Important Radionuclide: Cu-244 Source: Nuclear reactors Half-Life: 18 years Effective Half-Life: 16.7 years Specific Activity: 82 Ci/g Decay Mode: Alpha GI Absorption: 0.05% Lung Clearance Half-Time: Weeks (10-100 days) for all compounds; Critical Organ: Liver Internal Toxicity: Very High Annual Limit on Intake: 0.000001 mCi Average Radiation Energy (MeV): Alpha 5.8; Beta 0.086; Gamma 0.0017; [Argonne] [See Glossary for references.] See "Radiation, ionizing."

Exposure Assessment
Half Life

Biological half-life: 20 years (liver) and 50 years (bone); [ANL Radiological Fact Sheets]

Links to Other NLM Databases
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Other Information

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