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Tritium, H-Bomb Ingredient, Found in Water; Use Is Costly
By the Associated Press PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 15. — Two scientists have discovered in ordinary water the colorless gas known as tritium—key explosive for hydrogen bombs. A little tritium already has been made in American atomic reactors and more is to be pro- j duced for H-bombs in reactors still to be built. The discovery of tritium in i water shows promise of two veryj practical uses now. But there is; no existing equipment for extract ing tritium from water and such a process is not expected to re place the reactor method of manufacture. The principal reason for this is that — although reactor tritium today is said to cost a half billion dollars a pound—the water ex traction appears to be both less productive and more expensive. The first anticipated use of the new water tritium is to discover the secret manufacture of H bombs. In such work a very small amount of tritium spilled in water will spread widely and as a re sult of the newly announced dis covery may be detected easily. A single gram—one 27th of an ounce—dropped into the mighty Amazon River could be traced anywhere downstream and even far out in the Atlantic Ocean. The second practical use of the new detection method would come in tracing ocean currents right down to the bottom of the sea. Surface waters are known to con 16 Dead, 22 Injured In Japanese Typhoon By the Associated Press TOKYO. Sept. 15. — National police reported today the number of dead in Tuesday's typhoon in Southern Japan had reached 16 with 22 injured. Considerable property damage was reported. The typhoon passed through the ; Straits of Korea and was headed toward Northern Honshu .and South Hokkaido islands. Tritium, the hydrogen-bomb explosive which was found in three samples of heavy water, is held by Dr. A. V. Grosse (left) of Temple University. With Dr. Grosse is W. F. Libby of the Institute of Nuclear Studies of the University of Chicago. —AP Wirephoto. tain more tritium than very deep water. The tritium discoveries — an nounced yesterday at the Temple University Research Institute — were the work of W. F. Libby of the Institute of Nuclear Studies, University of Chicago, and A. V. Grosse of the Temple Institute. Tritium has been suspected in ordinary water for more than 20 years and have been partly iden tified by means of the spectro scope. The Libby-Grosse discov ery was made by using a radio active counter. Tritium atoms are radioactive. Tests showed that there are one to two thousand atoms of tritium in every drop of water—the water from your tap, the office drinking fountain, your bath. Several hundred tritium atoms explode in the human body every minute after being absorbed through food and drink. They do no harm, however, because it re- j quires millions of such explosions; a second to have any effect on ! human tissue. Tritium is a triple weight form * of hydrogen. There also is a double weight hydrogen known as deuterium and the H-bomb is to I be made of a combination of tritium and deuterium. The two scientists ip their tests used heavy water—made by run ning an electric current through ordinary water over and over again until it was made up mostly of double and triple weight hydro gen. _^ Lawyers Ask Uniform Law To Ban 'Quickie' Nuptials Backing of a law to end quickie marriages came yesterday from 100 lawyers convening at the Hotel Statler. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, which will close tomorrow, approved model legislation that would require a flve-day wait be fore the issuance of every mar riage license. The attorneys, appointed by their Governors, expressed hope that all State Legislatures will enact such a proposed law. Blood tests for syphilis before marriage also would be required by the law. Other action approved laws to force deserting fathers to support their families regardless if they had moved to another State, and to require a blood test of preg nant women during the prenatal period. SPECIAL-^ , ! House Passes Bill to Give Fifth Star to Gen. Bradley By tho Associatod Prt*» With cheers and applause, the House yesterday unanimously passed legislation that would put five stars on the shoulders of Gen. Bradley. The bill now goes to the White House for the signature of Presi dent Truman. The Senate on Wednesday ap proved a companion bill that gives to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff the permanent rank of general of the Army. That gives to the wartime com mander of the 12th Army Group in the European theater the same rank as that of Gen. George C. Marshall, Gen. Dwight D. Eisen hower and Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur in the Army. Farmers use 10 billion gallons of petroleum products yearly. | Save by Mail Your savings—$5 to $10,000 —are welcome. 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