Believe It or Not!
Plutonium Powered Pacemakers

Plutonium Powered Pacemakers

What da? … A Nuclear Pacemaker??

Pacemakers are used to stimulate a regular heartbeat when the body’s natural electrical pacing system is irregular or not transmitting properly.

Over the years, various power sources have been used for pacemakers, including thermoelectric batteries containing 2 to 4 curies of plutonium-238 (88 year half-life).  As the term “thermoelectric” implies, the heat from the decaying plutonium is used to generate the electricity that stimulates the heart. As of , there are between 50 and 100 people in the US who have nuclear powered pacemakers.

When one of these  individuals dies, the pacemaker is supposed to be removed and shipped to Los Alamos where the plutonium will be recovered.

As can be seen in the above photo, the unit’s electronics are embedded in epoxy. The hard titanium case is designed to withstand any credible event including gunshots and cremation.

Pacemaker Markings
Dose rates at the surface of the pacemaker are approximately 5 to 15 mrem per hour from the emitted gamma rays and neutrons. The whole body exposure is estimated to be approximately 0.1 rem per year to the patient and approximately 7.5 mrem per year to the patient’s spouse.

A tiny nuclear device right inside your chest … shouldn’t THAT ALONE make you so anxious you would have a heart attack? Unbelievable … Believe it!

Share Ripley's Believe It or Not!!

Author: Otelo

4 Comments to “Plutonium Powered Pacemakers”
  1. ur evil twin says:

    can’t some people get cancer from this? 0.o

  2. imagine the commercial for this! [NARARATOR]: just in time for christmas! [SOMEONE WITH AIDS]: wut is it? [NARARATOR]: a cancer giver! :D [SOMEONE WITH AIDS]: D:

  3. This reminds me of Burkbraun’s Radium Schokolade, the chocolate bar that had radium in it.
    Also it reminds me of “Davey Crockett”, the portable nuclear weapon desinged by U.S. Miltary.

  4. Hi,
    I have the first installed pu238 pacemaker in 1976, And it was first made by CORDIS I was 16 at the time and still working great.Mine looks a little different on the inside has small fan in it. I think over 30 years old is a record for any Pacemaker to be working.

Leave a Comment

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

1 Pingbacks

  1. December 8, 2011 at 06:05:42
    pingback: Plutonium Powered Pacemakers « News Hub Today - [...] Via [...]