Uranium - Naturally Occuring Radioactive Element

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Uranium - Naturally Occuring Radioactive Element

State of Matter: SolidDuctile: YesMalleable: YesMagnetic: YesColour: SilverReactions:When divided, uranium can react with cold waterCan form solid solutions and intermetallic compounds with most of the metals.In air it’s coated by uranium oxide, which tarnishes rapidlyFlammability: Yes, but only when in a powdered form.

UraniumNaturally occuring radioactive element

Name: Uranium Symbol: U Atomic Number: 92 Atomic Mass: 238.0289 amu Melting Point: 1132.0 °C , 2069.6 °F Boiling Point: 3818.0 °C , 6904.4 °F Number of Protons/Electrons: 92 Number of Neutrons: 146 Classification: Rare Earth Density: 18.95 g/cm3 Colour: silverish when refined, Black when minedState at Room Temperature: SolidElement Classification: MetalPeriod Number: 7 Group Number: none Group Name: Actinide

Uranium Atom

Brief History

Physical Properties

Societal Applications

Basic Information

Radioisotopes in Medicine: Nuclear medicine uses radiation to provide diagnostic information about the functioning of a person's specific organs, or to treat them. Diagnostic procedures using radioisotopes are now regular. Radiotherapy can be used to treat some medical conditions, especially cancer, using radiation to weaken or destroy particular targeted cells. Tens of millions of nuclear medicine procedures are performed each year, and demand for radioisotopes is increasing. Balance of medical equipment is also an important use of radioisotopes.In the preservation of food : Radioisotopes are used to block the sprouting of root crops after harvesting, to kill parasites and pests, and to control the ripening of stored fruit and vegetables.In the growing of crops and breeding livestock: Radioisotopes are used to produce high yielding, disease-resistant and weather-resistant varieties of crops, to study how fertilizers and insecticides work, and to improve the production and health of domestic animals.Warfare: Depleted uranium is used as shielding to protect tanks, and also in bullets and missiles. The first atomic bomb used in warfare was a uranium bomb. This bomb contained enough of the uramium-235 isotope to start a runaway chain reaction, which in a fraction of a second caused a large number of the uranium atoms to undergo fission, there by releasing a fireball of energy. In World War II and the Cold War uranium-235 has been used as the fissile explosive material to produce nuclear weapons. Weapons-grade uranium and plutonium surplus to military requirements in the USA and Russia is being made available for use as civil fuel. Weapons-grade uranium is highly enriched, to over 90% U-235 (the fissile isotope). Nuclear materials no longer needed for military purposes by the US and Russia are now being converted into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors. Depleted Uranium is used by the U.S Army for machine gun amunition, canons in tanks, cluster bombs, hand grenades and land mines.How it is mined: Uranium can be mined either underground or by open pit mining. When mined Uranium is denser than lead but less dense than Gold. It is a black in colour and is called Uranium ore before refined to uranium. Canada was the world's largest uranium producer for many years, accounting for about 22% of world output, but in 2009 was overtaken by Kazakhstan. Production comes mainly from the McArthur River mine in northern Saskatchewan province, which is the largest in the world.Production is expected to increase significantly from 2015 as the new Cigar Lake mine comes into full operation. With known uranium resources of 572,000 tonnes of U3O8 (485,000 tU), as well as continuing exploration, Canada has a significant role in meeting future world demand.Civil Applications: Depleted Uranium is ued for shielding in industrial radiography equipment, colouring in consumer products, trim weights in aircrafts, sailboat keel, sampling calorimeters for detectors in high-energy particle physics, and as ballasts in yachts and planes. It is also used in smoked detectors we find in our homes.Industrial Uses: Nuclear industry is based off of the production of clean energy from Nuclear power plants. In a nuclear reactor the uranium fuel is assembled in such a way that a controlled fission chain reaction can be achieved. The heat created by splitting the U-235 atoms is then used to make steam which spins a turbine to drive a generator, producing electricity. The chain reaction that takes place in the core of a nuclear reactor is controlled by rods which absorb neutrons and which can be inserted or withdrawn to set the reactor at the required power level. The fuel elements are surrounded by a substance like water called a moderator to slow the speed of the emitted neutrons allowing the chain reaction to continue. Water, graphite and heavy water are used as moderators in different types of reactors. Because of the kind of fuel used (ex. U-235) if there is a major malfunction in a reactor the fuel may overheat and melt, but it cannot explode like a bomb. A typical 1000 megawatt reactor can provide enough electricity for a modern city of up to one million people. The steam emitted to turn the turbines creating electricity powers industry.

Chemical Properties

IsotopesThere are three naturally occurring uranium isotopes. Uranium-238 (146 neutrons+92 protons/electrons) is the most stable of these and makes up 99.3%, uranium-235 (143 neutrons+92protons/electrons) makes up 0.7% of natural uranium and is the most radioactive and fissible Uranium-234 just 0.005%.Nuclear power plants require uranium to be enriched with the uranium-235 isotope and the chain reaction to be controlled so that the energy is released in a more manageable way. The isotope uranium 238 is used to estimate the age of the earliest igneous rocks and for other types of radiometric dating.

The element Uranium was first discovered by Martin Heinrich Klaproth, a German chemist in 1789. Klaproth, as well as the rest of the scientific community was convinced that he found pure uranium it was actually uranium dioxide (UO2). Eugene-Melchoir Peligot, a French chemist isolated pure uranium by heating uranium dioxide with potassium in a platinum crucible. Radioactivity was first discovered by Antoine Henri Becquerel, a French physicist detected it from a sample of the element uranium in 1896. Today uranium is collected from uranium ores such as uraninite, and carnotite. Today uranium is mostly used to produce electricity or be used for its radioactive properties.

Health ConcernsNormal functioning of the kidney, brain, liver, heart, and numerous other systems can be affected by uranium exposure because, in addition to being weakly radioactive, uranium is a toxic metal, although less toxic than other heavy metals such as mercury. It is weakly radioactive.Isotopes: each of two or more forms of the same element that contain equal numbers of protons but different numbers of neutrons in their nucleus, and differ in atomic mass but not in chemical properties for example a radioactive form of an element.

IsotopeHalf LifeU-230 20.8 daysU-231 4.2 daysU-232 70.0 yearsU-233 159000.0 yearsU-234 247000.0 yearsU-235 7.0004E8 yearsU-236 2.34E7 yearsU-237 6.75 daysU-238 4.47E9 yearsU-239 23.5 minutesU-240 14.1 hoursHalf Life is how long it takes to Decay


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