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Extinct Radioactive Nuclides and Production of Xenon Isotopes in Natural Gas


IT has been established from isotope studies of zenon in meteorites that two radioactive nuclides that are now extinct once existed in the solar system. In 1960 Reynolds1 discovered radiogenic 129Xe, the decay product of 129I, in the Richardton chondrite, and in 1965 Rowe and Kuroda2 found an enrichment in the heavy xenon isotopes 131–136Xe in the Pasamonte achondrite due to the spontaneous fission of 244Pu. Terrestrial lead from oceanic sediments fits the isochron defined by the lead isotopes in meteorites3, which suggests that the Earth also formed at a time when 129I and 244Pu were present among the elements of the solar system.

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BOULOS, M., MANUEL, O. Extinct Radioactive Nuclides and Production of Xenon Isotopes in Natural Gas. Nature Physical Science 235, 150–152 (1972).

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