If you do a quick Google search for the most expensive element in the world, one of the results will be californium-252 stone.
According to Hamza Al-Mustapha, a former Nigerian Army major and intelligence officer who served as General Sani Abacha’s Chief Security Officer, in an interview with the Brekete family, he said a Californium-252 Stone was discovered in Borno state and is worth $27 million per gram.
In his other remarks in the viral video, he said that the element was the cause of insecurity and Boko Haram in Borno and other resource-rich northern territories.
The 62-year-old Major, while speaking, said Nigerians should visit Google and search for the price of californium-252 stone.
This article will discuss what californium-252 stone is, what it is used for, where it is discovered, how much it costs per gram, and whether californium stone is actually found in Borno, Nigeria.
WHAT IS CALIFORNIUM-252?
Californium-252 (Cf-252) is a man-made, radioactive element. It is not found in nature and is produced by bombarding curium-248 with high-energy neutrons. Cf-252 is used in a variety of applications, including as a source of neutrons for scientific research, in the oil and gas industry for well logging, and in the nuclear medicine industry for cancer treatment. It is typically sold in the form of a small, sealed metal container, called a “source,” which emits a steady stream of neutrons. More is defined on Wikipedia
Californium (Cf) is a synthetic, radioactive element that was first produced in 1950 at the University of California Radiation Laboratory, which is now known as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
It is produced by bombarding curium with alpha particles, which are the nuclei of helium atoms. Californium has several isotopes, with californium-252 being one of the most widely used due to its high neutron yield and relatively long half-life. As a result, it is used in a variety of applications, such as neutron activation analysis, neutron radiography, and as a neutron source for portable instruments.
Californium is an actinide element and was the sixth transuranium element to be synthesized. It is also one of the heaviest elements that can be produced in significant quantities, with only einsteinium being heavier. The element’s name was inspired by the institution and the American state of California where it was first synthesized. Actinides are a series of elements that includes actinium and thorium, and all elements that follow in the periodic table up to lawrencium. They are characterized by having similar chemical properties and being radioactive.
Californium-252 (Cf-252) is a radioactive isotope of the element californium. It has 52 protons and 52 neutrons in its nucleus. Cf-252 is produced by bombarding curium-248 with alpha particles, and has a half-life of about 2.6 years. It decays by emitting alpha particles and has a specific activity of about 3.7 Curie/gram.
Cf-252 is a rare and expensive isotope, and is used in a variety of applications, including nuclear medicine, neutron activation analysis, and as a source of neutrons for research and industry. It is also used in portable neutron sources for oil well logging and other field applications.
Cf-252 is hazardous to handle due to its radioactivity, and strict safety measures must be taken to protect workers and the environment when working with this isotope.
WHERE IS CALIFORNIUM 252 FOUND?
Californium-252 is not found naturally in the environment. It is produced artificially in nuclear reactors or particle accelerators. It is a rare and expensive isotope, and is not produced in large quantities.
Californium-252 can be found in research facilities and laboratories that use it for various purposes, such as nuclear medicine, neutron activation analysis, and as a source of neutrons for research and industry. It can also be found in portable neutron sources used for oil well logging and other field applications.
Californium-252 is not found in consumer products or widely available for commercial use. It is a hazardous substance due to its radioactivity, and strict safety measures must be taken when handling or working with this isotope.
HOW MUCH IS CALIFORNIUM 252 COST PER GRAM?
Californium-252 is a very rare and expensive element, with a cost per gram that can reach into the millions of dollars. The price can vary depending on the supplier, the form of the material (such as a solid metal source or a solution), and the quantity purchased. Some estimates put the cost of one gram of californium-252 at around $27 million. Due to its high cost and radioactive nature, it is typically used in very small quantities and only by highly specialized organizations or research institutions.
It is also learned from some sources that Californium-252 is far more expensive than lutetium but less expensive than francium.
DOES NIGERIA HAVE CALIFORNIUM 252?
As of my knowledge cutoff, Nigeria does not have a known Californium-252 production facility. It is a very rare and expensive element, produced in small quantities at a few specialized facilities around the world. However, it is possible that some research institutions or specialized organizations in Nigeria may have small amounts of Californium-252 for research or other purposes, but it is not known to be a major producer of the element.
We the ordinary masses are not aware of any publicly available information that would confirm whether Nigeria has Californium-252 or not. The possession and use of Californium-252 and other radioactive materials is highly regulated and controlled, so it’s not likely for the information to be available for public access.
DOES NIGERIA’S BORNO HAVE CALIFORNIUM?
No, based on the research conducted, Californium-252 is produced at a small number of specialized facilities around the world. The majority of the world’s supply of californium-252 is produced at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States. The Russian Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) in Dimitrovgrad, Russia, also produces Californium-252 Other countries that have the capability to produce California-252 include France, China, and India. However, the production of Californium-252 is highly controlled and regulated due to its radioactivity and high cost.
There’s no publicly available information indicating that Borno State in Nigeria has Californium-252. Californium is a synthetic element that is not found naturally in the earth. It was first synthesized by Glenn T. Seaborg and his team at the University of California, Berkeley, made the first official identification of Californium in February 1950, through a process of bombarding curium-242 with helium ions using a 60-inch cyclotron. More on Nature.
IS CALIFORNIA-252 THE CAUSE OF BOKO HARAM IN NIGERIA?
Californium-252 is a synthetic radioactive isotope that is used in a variety of applications, including industrial and scientific research, but it is not publicly confirmed that it is related to the Boko Haram terrorist group or its activities in Nigeria. Boko Haram is a militant extremist organization that has been active in Nigeria and other countries in West Africa since the early 2000s. It is known for carrying out bombings, kidnappings, and other acts of violence in an effort to establish an Islamic state in the region. The group’s goals and tactics have nothing to do with Californium-252 or any other scientific or industrial material. Unless of course, if Boko Haram is a cover for illegal mining of the mineral just like in the DRC where insurgency is used as a cover to mine minerals illegally.
Californium is a synthetic element that is not found naturally in the earth and is only produced in small quantities each year, typically a few grams. It is used in a variety of specialized applications such as in portable neutron emitters for petroleum exploration and gold and silver prospecting, as well as in diagnostic and prospecting equipment. It is also used in cancer treatment in the field of nuclear medicine. It is unlikely that Nigeria has any significant amount of Californium-252, as it is not a major producer of the element.