Yesterday, I thought I understood that a particle accelerator was necessary to create man-made polonium. But apparently not. Here is another method that has been suggested to me:
- Step One: Bake a cylinder of bismuth in a nuclear reactor in an area of high flux of thermal neutrons.
- Step Two: Use zone melting to separate out the polonium: a heat source is moved up and down the length of the cylinder and this drives the unusual elements along with the heat. A semiconductor plant could have equipment for zone refining.