quote: Besides it is not like plutonium is lying on the ground there is a not very friendly environment process in digging it out and making it useful for fuel.
quote: While the hazards of external exposure are pretty small, they are more than just the equivalent of a sunburn. The issue is lower levels of the skin get the nuclei damaged. This raises the chance of skin cancers above that of a simple sunburn. The risk is still not great, but it is significantly more than just a sunburn.
quote: Ingestion is a huge issue. Plutonium goes to both the major organ soft tissue and to the major bones. About 10% of what is ingested is eliminated from the body in about 24 to 48 hours. About 45% of what is ingested goes to major soft tissue organs (e.g., the liver).
quote: The misconception comes from a fear campaign mounted against RTGs by environmental groups. Solid plutonium is actually pretty safe. It's just an alpha emitter so it can't penetrate past your skin - it'll give you the equivalent of a sunburn if you're exposed to it. Your skin cells peel off in a couple days, and that's the end of it. Eating it is slightly worse, but it'll pass through your system in a day or two and that's the end of it.
quote: Solid plutonium is ... an alpha emitter... [I]f you're exposed to it, your skin ... [will] peel off in a couple days, and that's the end of [you]. Eating it is ... worse... [Just] a [single] day [until] the end...
quote: For satellites in earth orbit, just sticking a couple solar panels on 'em is going to be a much simpler option from an engineering point of view,
quote: It's odd that they don't mention cosmic rays