In 1995, I conducted a study for Westinghouse and the U.S. Department of Energy (based at Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State) to determine if radioactive isotope Cesium-137 could compete in the marketplace against Cobalt-60 and electron beam machines as a radiation source to irradiate foods and improve consumer food safety.
Results: This product idea was spiked, mainly because the potential marketplace expressed safety concerns due to the fact that Cesium-137 expands and contracts with thermal cycling, and is soluble in water. By comparison, the incumbent radiation source Cobalt-60 is thermally stable, and non-soluble in water. Typically, irradiation facilities have relied on water to provide radiation shielding.
Moral of the Story: not all product ideas should be brought to market.
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