Milking the Thorium Cow - Periodic Table of Videos

  • Published on Jan 11, 2019
  • How to produce Actinium from a "cow" of Thorium... Filmed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
    More links and info in full description ↓↓↓
    More on Actinium:
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory (nuclear science):
    With thanks to Rose Boll and everyone else at Oak Ridge.
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    From the School of Chemistry at The University of Nottingham:
    With thanks to the Garfield Weston Foundation.
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  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 748

  • Dark Rainbow
    Dark Rainbow Day ago

    Now milk a chocolate cow.

  • maximmm99
    maximmm99 Day ago

    Somebody check my math - $1000 for 1 nanogram is $1000 x 10^9 = a million million dollars per gram right?

  • yensama
    yensama Day ago

    $1000... my hospital will probably charge me $30,000

  • Subhabrata Ghosh

    professor u know.. when i watch ur video then i become so much involved with it that when a send video peeps out on the side of the video i go to that after ending that one.. but after that i realised that i haven't commented the previous one.. but i am not willing to go back and waste my time... so i carry on......probably this the first comment to any of ur videos as far as i can remember i have watched 75 videos of urs approx..but i haven't commented any one of apologies....for the largest comment.....

  • Orion Osiris
    Orion Osiris Day ago

    Building 7920?! 😲 How many buildings do they own?! I have trouble keeping up with my one bedroom apartment, geez! 😂

  • Rahbeep
    Rahbeep Day ago

    "Highly radioactive materials handling"
    Uses container for Mini Cream Puffs

  • Cooper Gates
    Cooper Gates 2 days ago

    Note: Over 97% of bismuth-213 beta decays; just a little bit of it emits alpha particles instead.

  • Todd Krough
    Todd Krough 2 days ago

    we have canabis now dont need it. yellow # 5 is a byproduct of oil and they put that in your food. isn't that great?

  • crackSmoker
    crackSmoker 2 days ago +1

    Did anyone else have the "hydration mayonnaise" ad??? It made me very uncomfortable lol.

  • Alexey Souvorkin
    Alexey Souvorkin 2 days ago

    At $1 billion/gram this is one of least expensive ingredients to make the medicine??! (8:40)
    What is the most expensive?
    Quark containing quantum milk from a unicorn?

  • KosmonautOfficial
    KosmonautOfficial 2 days ago

    Great video

  • Ultracity6060
    Ultracity6060 2 days ago

    My grandparents worked (and met) working at Oak Ridge in the days leading up to the Manhattan project, and one of them later died of cancer. Cool to see that the same facility is now using radiation to help cure cancer.

    Radiation: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

  • James T Joseph
    James T Joseph 2 days ago

    Legacy of ORNL still continues. Exited about the MSRE.

  • T J Vaughan
    T J Vaughan 2 days ago

    what smashing info

  • Parker Patterson
    Parker Patterson 2 days ago

    2:44 Is that a Nalgene bottle?...

  • Kevin Lane
    Kevin Lane 3 days ago

    The question is can it cure leukemia?

  • Jimmy Amato
    Jimmy Amato 3 days ago

    I take issue with the part of the graphic that represents beta decay LOL!

  • gmc9753
    gmc9753 3 days ago

    But can he juggle with those arms?

  • Leafseason Magbag
    Leafseason Magbag 3 days ago

    That robotic arm is absolutely insane!

  • monkeywentbananas
    monkeywentbananas 3 days ago

    Witch doctors ! Using radiation to "treat" cancer is like blood letting in the 18th century !

  • Jasao Ruion
    Jasao Ruion 3 days ago

    If we didn't have enough radiation already 2.5 gigahertz and now 5G gigahertz.

  • raph009
    raph009 3 days ago

    Now, I'm really starting to regret taking that gap semester lol! I want to do more labs... X)

  • RedStefan
    RedStefan 3 days ago

    Radiation causes cancer and how do we treat cancer? With radiotherapy or the same radiation that caused it in the first place. Isn't hat brilliant!

  • TiagoTiago
    TiagoTiago 3 days ago

    Would it be possible to have glass with something like phosphor added to the mixture or as a coating, so that the glass would glow visibly to show where the radioactive material is?

  • Vink
    Vink 3 days ago

    I wonder where you can get those lead containers from? I tried looking for some but they aren't easy to find.

  • Colin Whiteside
    Colin Whiteside 3 days ago

    That manipulator arm reminded me, of all things, of Rod Hull and Emu.

  • Paris 23
    Paris 23 3 days ago

    How do you pay a thousand million dollars?
    You mean you’d pay a billion dollars

  • evilferris
    evilferris 4 days ago

    Over the years, it’s hard to judge, but I think this is one of the most fascinating videos you’ve ever done. Thank you!

  • lmwrt
    lmwrt 4 days ago +1

    Things are only waste in our limitid knowledge of today, because in nature, very little things are waste, if any. Great video.

  • Weta
    Weta 4 days ago +1

    Why don't they use gloveboxes?

    • Thomas Dyke
      Thomas Dyke 3 days ago

      We do! They're in the video. Once the Ra/Ac is seperated from the Thorium cow inside the cave, it gets moved to glove boxes for further processing

  • MrBanzoid
    MrBanzoid 4 days ago

    Facinating... The guy on the waldoes is a real manipulator!

  • Daniel Cezar
    Daniel Cezar 4 days ago +1

    update more frequently


  • Barry Manilowa
    Barry Manilowa 4 days ago

    I don't feel safe having American Southerners handling these dangerous materials.

    • Christopher Willis
      Christopher Willis Day ago

      +Barry Manilowa He did no such thing, but you are def being a bigot.

    • Barry Manilowa
      Barry Manilowa 2 days ago

      acoow But you'll gladly defend racist white Southerners? Get out of my face!

    • acoow
      acoow 3 days ago

      Barry Manilowa, I don’t like bigots commenting on TheXvid videos.

  • D Hawthorne
    D Hawthorne 4 days ago

    $1000000000000 and much denser than steel...
    That is one expensive tiny paperclip.

  • M L
    M L 4 days ago

    The comments are full of people banging on about Thorium reactors.

  • First Last
    First Last 4 days ago

    i thought Thorium could be used as a very low waste and passively safe fission energy source

  • DanceTweety Looney Tune

    So a USA lab is making millions over the backs of sick people?

    • acoow
      acoow 3 days ago

      So you want Ray to work for nothing?

    • Thomas Dyke
      Thomas Dyke 3 days ago

      That's definitely an over-simplification. Nor do we produce even enough Actinium to make millions of dollars. I wish we could tho! The price is highly subsidized, but DOE likes sustainable programs so we charge enough to cover our salaried time, mostly.

  • reece cole
    reece cole 4 days ago

    Great video !

  • Melinda Green
    Melinda Green 4 days ago

    Fascinating. I didn't understand a bit of it.

  • Andy Pieters
    Andy Pieters 4 days ago

    looks like orange juice

  • Roach DoggJR
    Roach DoggJR 4 days ago

    I like that he said "a thousand million dollars" instead of "a billion dollars."

  • MN SHP
    MN SHP 4 days ago

    why is the light blue, not red or yellow ( 7;30)

    • Christopher Willis
      Christopher Willis Day ago +1

      +MN SHP Ya, the decay products have a half life of just 10 days. People always get it backwards, but the shorter the half life, the nastier the stuff. The stuff that lasts tens of thousands of years might as well not be radioactive :D

    • MN SHP
      MN SHP Day ago

      +Christopher Willis wow, that must be alot of energy being created then, thankyou

    • Christopher Willis
      Christopher Willis Day ago +1

      Because of the ionization of air.

  • cutetreytn
    cutetreytn 4 days ago

    I live 20 minutes from ORNL.

  • Yeetle The Beetle
    Yeetle The Beetle 4 days ago +1

    poor cow!!

  • Sam Haines
    Sam Haines 5 days ago

    Wondrous to behold!! Cherenkov in full effect!!

    • Christopher Willis
      Christopher Willis Day ago +1

      Actually in this case it is air ionization. It is often mistaken for that, but this sample is active enough that it cases the legendary blue flash often mistaken with Cherenkov, but it is more similar to air sparks

  • OneironauticalOne
    OneironauticalOne 5 days ago

    So much work goes into one Nukacola Quantum!

  • Eddie
    Eddie 5 days ago

    3/10. Needs more cows.

  • Steve Barr
    Steve Barr 5 days ago

    So how is it used 2 treat cancer?. Bring so dangerous

  • Lt General Goon
    Lt General Goon 5 days ago

    "everyone knows someone who has or has been affected by cancer" nope never met anyone who has or had it in my 25 years.

  • Adam
    Adam 5 days ago

    Prof. Poliakoff is my absolute favorite

  • Kargoneth
    Kargoneth 5 days ago

    Radiation giveth cancer. Radiation taketh away cancer.

  • ciaphas cyne
    ciaphas cyne 5 days ago

    Please stop talking about Molten Salt Reactors unless you have a degree in the field. The internet is flooded with cheerleaders over a technology not a single one of them could explain.
    As far as using this as medicine, why not use a different isotope that's safer for the human body? Is it because of the economics? Taking nuclear waste and selling it as medicine because it "kind of works" seems incredibly immoral to me.

  • Drone Soldier
    Drone Soldier 5 days ago


  • mohider khana
    mohider khana 5 days ago

    hopefully a chemical reaction sets his hair ablaze!

  • medexamtoolsdotcom
    medexamtoolsdotcom 5 days ago

    Thorium cow sounds like it comes from the same farm as the golden goose.

  • chelar estelar
    chelar estelar 5 days ago

    I'm cooking cauliflower and the time left is just the same as this video's duration so I will time the oven by watching this

  • Brian Streufert
    Brian Streufert 5 days ago +1

    Those scientists, engineers and technicians are doing god's work. Bless them, the patients and their families who are receiving these potentially life saving technologies.

  • Morgow
    Morgow 5 days ago

    How do scientists come up with this stuff?

  • noHweI/NoWay
    noHweI/NoWay 5 days ago

    interesting chemistry and prof is trippy, but we do not need radioactives to treat cancer, except in a Rockefeller medical world, and I for one want to move on to suppressed technologies. cheers

  • Rhy K
    Rhy K 5 days ago

    yup this is the other benefit of breeding U233 from Th232 it decays down to Bi213 which is one alpha decay from stable Bi209. Fluid fueled reactors of the Fast U238>Pu239 and the Thermal Th232>U233 will not only bring us unlimited heat and electricity. They will give useful fission products and very low amounts of long lived waste. The targeted Alpha therapy cancer assassin is just cream on the top.

  • PalimpsestProd
    PalimpsestProd 5 days ago

    So if we start using molten salt thorium reactors we'll have millions of times more actinium than we need to treat all cases of cancer but because it's made by a slow, highly specialized, fragile human working in a highly radioactive environment it'll still be insanely expensive. Earth needs robots. Note to engineers, nobody needs plastic coated paper cups, everybody needs robots.

  • William Kulich
    William Kulich 5 days ago +1

    02:20 Dem shorts doe.

  • Kaynos
    Kaynos 5 days ago

    If my chemistry teacher in high school would've been the professor i'm sure i would've pass.

  • Adam Osborne
    Adam Osborne 5 days ago

    Properly interesting stuff folks. ❤️

  • Leon's Tech n Gaming
    Leon's Tech n Gaming 5 days ago +1

    st vid in 2019

  • Aaron Higgins
    Aaron Higgins 5 days ago

    Imagine how much someone with cancer has to pay for treatment 😥

  • Brad S
    Brad S 5 days ago

    That was a re really cool video.

  • Lawrence D’Oliveiro

    7:26 Blue light ... is that Cherenkov radiation?

    • Christopher Willis
      Christopher Willis Day ago

      It is actually most likely air ionization which makes a similar glow.

  • Lawrence D’Oliveiro

    6:07 Even scientists are now abbreviating “millilitre” as “mL” instead of “ml”, I see. It isn’t just packagers of retail products (like shampoo) doing this any more.

  • Lawrence D’Oliveiro

    3:06 Consider: a similar thing could apply to anything currently classed as “nuclear waste”. At the very least, precisely because it is so highly radioactive, it gives off a lot of energy, which is currently going unused. So this idea that it needs to be locked away in some impenetrable, invulnerable vault for thousands of years just seems unnecessary, when future technological breakthroughs could very likely come up with an application for it within a matter of decades or centuries.

  • Lawrence D’Oliveiro

    2:39 I believe the term for the arms is “waldoes”, from the Robert Heinlein story.

  • Soviet Immortan Luvendass

    cows lay eggs

  • Zachariah Stovall
    Zachariah Stovall 5 days ago

    Missed this guy

  • OgienChomik
    OgienChomik 5 days ago

    As amazing as this science is i still feel like were using a wrecking ball to take out a door handle. I understand, however, that treatments are getting more and more effective and more precise so im very happy for that.

  • Adriano Seresi
    Adriano Seresi 5 days ago

    It’s about time.

  • KC9UDX
    KC9UDX 5 days ago

    The comments reveal the state of modern society.

  • David Kirk
    David Kirk 5 days ago

    This is great!

  • Jordan Gipson
    Jordan Gipson 5 days ago

    I was just thinking earlier today that it’s been a very long while since I’ve seen something from one of my favorite and longest subscribed channels. This makes me happy!

  • Mike M
    Mike M 5 days ago

    How were you able to film inside the National Lab?

  • Skodeward
    Skodeward 5 days ago +1

    Well, great video as always

  • Kevy Elyod
    Kevy Elyod 6 days ago

    Will it help cure the eventual cancer that all the workers at this factory will develop?

  • Amir Alavi
    Amir Alavi 6 days ago +1

    Actually the Prof is wrong. You have to pay 1 trillion for a gram not a billion

  • salt king
    salt king 6 days ago

    More vids I cant live like this

  • John Duncan
    John Duncan 6 days ago

    Rest in peace, professor

  • Q-Hack!
    Q-Hack! 6 days ago

    One has to question the security. "We are at bldg. 7920..." Nothing like telling the terrorist exactly where they can get product for a dirty bomb.

  • TrickyNekro
    TrickyNekro 6 days ago

    And I thought they were going to talk about energy production from thorium reactors... chemo is not really the way to go with cancer, we as humanity have to get past that stage so... meh!

    • Christopher Willis
      Christopher Willis Day ago

      +TrickyNekro Oh I see what you are saying. Yes, a more targeted therapy would be preferred, for sure.

    • TrickyNekro
      TrickyNekro Day ago

      +Christopher Willis Apart from various chemicals like growth suppressants, I thought that some type of chemotherapy included molecules that a slightly radioactive that get eaten by cancer cells and after some time essentially killing them from inside. Radiation therapy is done by a machine not a pill, guiding a high energy particle beam. And also, from what I remember this video was explaining just this. I do not confuse radiation therapy with chemotherapy, I just say in chemotherapy they use radioactive molecules, but that also chemotherapy is so destructive for the body because it also attacks healthy reproducing cells, like skin and hair cells , that it can not possibly remain a reasonable cancer treatment in the future.

    • Christopher Willis
      Christopher Willis Day ago

      Radiation treatment isn't chemo. Chemo is using chemicals, hence the name.

  • Sigma Gx
    Sigma Gx 6 days ago

    This is very interesting. Could you do a video on thorium power plants ? Im very interest in this energy application !!!!!!

  • GiggitySam Entz
    GiggitySam Entz 6 days ago +1

    I am so amazed that these heavy radioactive nuclei can be drugs...

  • barendts
    barendts 6 days ago +1

    Amazing. This was very educational.
    But, how do you repair or resupply any of the things in the controlled environment?

  • Phi
    Phi 6 days ago

    Is this to diss the idea of the nuclear use of this element?
    Somebody still wants to make some more bombs...

    • Christopher Willis
      Christopher Willis Day ago

      You can't make bombs from just regular thorium or any of these decay products. Have to have a lot of excess neutrons to breed it to U233, a nontrivial feet.

  • Stanton High
    Stanton High 6 days ago

    Im in the wrong buisness!
    Where do i get a cow?

  • dle511
    dle511 6 days ago

    so this refined actinium is unofficially the most expensive material at $1trillion/g

  • zapfanzapfan
    zapfanzapfan 6 days ago +1

    Assume a spherical cow... :-)

  • toolhog10
    toolhog10 6 days ago +1

    Very cool. Can you do a part 2 with the customers inside their medical lab?

  • damanifesto
    damanifesto 6 days ago +1

    As an ex-nuclear pharmacist, I really appreciate the attention to detail in the video. Well done.

    CHROMOSOME G U N 6 days ago

    Glad to see these videos are still being made. I watched them nearly 10 years ago studying general chemistry in college. :)

  • YCbCr
    YCbCr 6 days ago

    The world's most expensive material.
    Eat that, Ca-48. :)

  • Prowler Cam
    Prowler Cam 6 days ago

    The remote manipulators are known as "Waldoes" after the short story written by Robert Heinlein. The Character Shop got the trademark for "waldo" so I guess it can't be used any more.

    • acoow
      acoow 3 days ago

      Prowler Cam Except those who use manipulators don’t call them Waldoes.

  • Danielle Spargo
    Danielle Spargo 6 days ago

    Weird, i _know_ i subbed to this channel before. YT unsubbed me i think?

  • Giovanni Pellegrino
    Giovanni Pellegrino 6 days ago

    Hey, why don't you come to the place where I live, Castellana Grotte? You could see one the whitest cave in the world, made of almost pure calcium carbonate!