I’ve desperately wanted a sample of "yellowcake" uranium ever since I heard Saddam wanted to buy some. When uranium ore is processed, it’s crushed to powder, and then mixed with alkaline compounds to leach the uranium out of the ore. Once separated, and dried, the yellowcake is what remains. It’s fairly moderately radioactive, I wouldn’t want to keep a vial in my pocket, but it’s perfectly safe to look at. The real danger would be inhaling miniscule particles of uranium, which would promptly settle to the bottom of your lungs, and begin irradiating all those happy lung cells nearby.
As long as all that powder stays inside the capsule, we’re in good shape. I’m all for flirting with danger, but I ain’t stupid, so this is about as close as I’m going to get to it. Opening the vial would be a very stupid thing to do.
via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/uUFpLc