Originally posted by @ponderable
Well you Need a Radiation source to make the Ni63, this will be expensive, no matter what. Probably the used amount of Ni63 was relatively cheap, since no full economic cost is calculated in Research reactors...
What about Iron 60? We used that in Lucent cleanrooms to measure the thickness of some coatings coming out of the electron gun evaporators, like 500 Angstrom thick coatings and the Iron 60 hooked to a special detector could measure the thickness of the coating by the attenuation of the radiation.
That stuff is REAL reactive, not sure of the half life but it sure set off our Geiger counters when the little cover flap was opened.
I tried covering the business end of the thing with a half inch thick SS and some counts came through even that.
I got in a bit of trouble pointing that out, Lucent uppers didn't want to hear about dangers from that instrument. They parked the thing on an open wire shelf right above operators running microscopes and such.
I proved there was radiation coming off the thing to no avail other than 'mind your own business', you are not irreplacable.
it actually took intervention of the local electrical union to get me out of trouble and keep my job.
Not that it did much good, a few months later Lucent took a major dump and everyone was laid off here in Allentown.
The only one who came out on top of that fiasco was the CEO who knew things were going downhill and sold his shares for over 80 bucks a share. Made something like 10 mil off that and didn't go to jail.
I had a friend here in town who BOUGHT Lucent shares at 80. Not a good choice.
She lost 20,000 bucks.