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Scenario:

In my world there is a country called Pluonia and they have a craving for Pluonium, which only becomes radioactive when treated.

Question

Can a stable metal be treated to become radioactive?

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    $\begingroup$ I think this question belongs on physics.stackexchange, they can give you a much better answer. $\endgroup$ – Erik May 1 '15 at 7:43
  • $\begingroup$ Did you mean: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium? $\endgroup$ – Scott Downey May 1 '15 at 8:44
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Can something actually not be radioactive and after having something done to it be?

Yes. It's called "neutron activation":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_activation.

And, since nuclear reactors have lots of neutrons floating about inside them, neutron activation may be performed in them. Many experimental reactors were initially used mainly for this purpose; i.e., to run experiments involving activation of different starting matter and see what happens.

The Wikipedia page above has an excellent example of generating cobalt-60 (which is radioactive) from the naturally abundant cobalt-59 (which is stable).

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