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Encyclopedia > Enriched uranium
These pie-graphs showing the relative proportions of uranium-238 (blue) and uranium-235 (red) at different levels of enrichment.
These pie-graphs showing the relative proportions of uranium-238 (blue) and uranium-235 (red) at different levels of enrichment.

Enriched uranium is uranium whose uranium-235 content has been increased through the process of isotope separation. Natural uranium consists mostly of the 238U isotope, with about 0.72 % by weight as 235U, the only isotope existing in nature in any appreciable amount that is fissionable by thermal neutrons. Image File history File links Uranium_enrichment_proportions. ... Image File history File links Uranium_enrichment_proportions. ... General Name, Symbol, Number uranium, U, 92 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery gray metallic; corrodes to a spalling black oxide coat in air Atomic mass 238. ... Uranium-235 is an isotope of uranium that differs from the elements other common isotope, uranium-238, by its ability to cause a rapidly expanding fission chain reaction. ... Isotope separation is the process of concentrating specific isotopes of a chemical element by removing other isotopes, for example separating natural uranium into enriched uranium and depleted uranium. ... There are two objects with this name: Unterseeboot 238 Uranium-238, the most common isotope of uranium This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Isotopes are any of the several different forms of an element each having different atomic mass. ... For the generation of electrical power by fission, see Nuclear power plant An induced nuclear fission event. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...


Enriched uranium is a critical component for both civil nuclear power generation and military nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency attempts to monitor and control enriched uranium supplies and processes in its efforts to ensure nuclear power generation safety and curb nuclear weapons proliferation. A nuclear power station. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter. ... The IAEA flag The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA, internally often referred to as The Agency) was established as an autonomous organization on July 29, 1957. ... World map with nuclear weapons development status represented by color. ...


During the Manhattan Project enriched uranium was given the codename oralloy, a shortened version of Oak Ridge alloy, after the location of the plants where the uranium was enriched. The term oralloy is still occasionally used to refer to enriched uranium. The Manhattan Project resulted in the development of the first nuclear weapons, and the first-ever nuclear detonation, at the Trinity test of July 16, 1945. ... Oak Ridge is an incorporated city in Anderson and Roane Counties in East Tennessee, about 25 miles northwest of Knoxville. ... An alloy is a combination, either in solution or compound, of two or more elements, at least one of which is a metal, and where the resulting material has metallic properties. ...


The 238U remaining after enrichment is known as depleted uranium (DU), and is considerably less radioactive than even natural uranium, though still extremely dense. It is useful for armor, penetrating weapons, and other applications requiring very dense metals. Depleted uranium storage yard. ... Radioactive decay is the set of various processes by which unstable atomic nuclei (nuclides) emit subatomic particles. ... Military vehicles are commonly armoured to withstand the impact of shrapnel, bullets or shells, protecting the soldiers inside from enemy fire. ... Staballoys are metal alloys of a high proportion of depleted uranium with other metals, usually titanium or molybdenum, designed for use in kinetic energy penetrator armor-piercing munitions. ...

Contents

Grades

Highly enriched uranium (HEU)

A billet of highly enriched uranium metal
A billet of highly enriched uranium metal

Highly enriched uranium (HEU) has a greater than 20% concentration of 235U or 233U. Image File history File links HEUranium. ... Image File history File links HEUranium. ...


The fissile uranium in nuclear weapons usually contains 85% or more of 235U known as weapon(s)-grade, though for a crude, inefficient weapon 20% is sufficient (called weapon(s)-usable); some argue that even less is sufficient, but then the critical mass required rapidly increases. However, judicious use of implosion and neutron reflectors can enable construction of a weapon from a quantity of uranium below the usual critical mass for its level of enrichment, though this would likely only be possible in a country which already had extensive experience in developing nuclear weapons. The presence of too much of the 238U isotope inhibits the runaway nuclear chain reaction that is responsible for the weapon's power. The critical mass for 85% of highly enriched uranium is about 50 kilograms. A sphere of plutonium surrounded by neutron-reflecting blocks of tungsten carbide. ... Albert Einsteins letter to President Roosevelt in 1939 about his concern, about (Nuclear chain reactions) Click for closeup of letter A nuclear chain reaction occurs when on average more than one nuclear reaction is caused by another nuclear reaction, thus leading to an exponential increase in the number of...


HEU is also used in fast neutron reactors as well as in nuclear submarine reactors, where it contains at least 50% 235U, but typically exceeds 90%. The Fermi-1 commercial fast reactor prototype used HEU with 26.5% 235U. A fast neutron reactor or simply a fast reactor is a category of nuclear reactor in which the fission chain reaction is sustained by fast neutrons. ... Nuclear marine propulsion is propulsion of a Merchant ship powered by a nuclear reactor. ...


Low-enriched uranium (LEU)

A drum of Yellowcake (uranium oxide)
A drum of Yellowcake (uranium oxide)

Low-enriched uranium (LEU) has a lower than 20% concentration of 235U. For use in commercial light water reactors (LWR), the most prevalent power reactors in the world, uranium is enriched to 3 to 5 % 235U. Fresh LEU used in research reactors is usually enriched 12% to 19.75% U-235, the later concentration being used to replace HEU fuels when converting to LEU. Image File history File links LEUPowder. ... Image File history File links LEUPowder. ... Powdered yellowcake in a drum Yellowcake (also known as urania and uranic oxide) is concentrated uranium oxide, obtained through the milling of uranium ore. ... A light water reactor or LWR is a thermal nuclear reactor that uses ordinary water (as opposed to heavy water) as its neutron moderator. ... Research reactors comprise a wide range of civil and commercial nuclear reactors which are generally not used for power generation. ...


Slightly enriched uranium (SEU)

Slightly enriched uranium (SEU) has a concentration of 235U between 0.9% and 2%.


This new grade is being used to replace natural uranium (NU) fuel in some heavy water reactors like the CANDU. Costs are lowered because less uranium and fewer bundles are needed to fuel the reactor. This in turn reduces the quantity of used fuel and its subsequent waste management costs. Natural uranium (NU) refers to refined uranium with the same isotopic ratios as found in nature. ... Heavy water reactors use heavy water as a neutron moderator. ... The CANDU reactor is a pressurized-heavy water, natural-uranium power reactor designed in the 1960s by a partnership between Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario as well as several private industry participants. ...


Recovered uranium (RU) is a variation of SEU. It is based on a fuel cycle involving used fuel recovered from light water reactors (LWR). The spent fuel from a LWR typically contains more U-235 than natural uranium, and therefore could be used to fuel reactors which customarily use natural uranium as fuel. The nuclear fuel cycle, also called nuclear fuel chain, is the progression of nuclear fuel through a series of differing stages. ... A light water reactor or LWR is a thermal nuclear reactor that uses ordinary water (as opposed to heavy water) as its neutron moderator. ...


Methods

Isotope separation is a difficult and energy intensive activity. Enriching uranium is difficult because the two isotopes are very similar in weight: 235U is only 1.26% lighter than 238U. Several production techniques applied to enrichment have been used, and several are under investigation. In general these methods exploit the slight differences in atomic weights of the various isotopes. Some work is being done that would use nuclear resonance however it is not certain if any of these processes have been scaled up to production. ... Pacific Northwest National Laboratorys high magnetic field (800 MHz, 18. ...


A feature common to all large-scale enrichment schemes is that they employ a number of identical stages which produce successively higher concentrations of 235U. Each stage concentrates the product of the previous step further before being sent to the next stage. Similarly, the tailings from each stage are returned to the previous stage for further processing. This sequential enriching system is called a cascade. In chemical engineering, a cascade is a plant consisting of several similar stages with each processing the output from the previous stage. ...


Thermal diffusion

Main article: Thermal diffusion

Thermal diffusion utilizes the transfer of heat across a thin liquid or gas to accomplish isotope separation. The process exploits the fact that the lighter 235U gas molecules will diffuse toward a hot surface, and the heavier 238U molecules will diffuse toward a cold surface. The S-50 plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee was used during World War II to prepare feed material for the EMIS process. It was abandoned in favor of gaseous diffusion. Schematic drawing of the effects of diffusion through a semipermeable membrane. ... Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a multiprogram science and technology national laboratory managed for the United States Department of Energy by UT-Battelle, LLC. ORNL is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, near Knoxville. ... Oak Ridge is an incorporated city in Anderson and Roane Counties in East Tennessee, about 25 miles northwest of Knoxville. ... Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead...


Gaseous diffusion

Main article: Gaseous diffusion

Gaseous diffusion is a technology used to produce enriched uranium by forcing gaseous uranium hexafluoride (Hex) through semi-permeable membranes. This produces a slight separation between the molecules containing 235U and 238U. Throughout the Cold War, gaseous diffusion played a major role as a uranium enrichment technique, though it has now been almost completely replaced by newer methods.-1... Uranium hexafluoride, or UF6, is a compound used in the uranium enrichment process that produces fuel for nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. ... A semipermeable membrane is a membrane which will allow certain molecules to pass through it by diffusion (sometimes facilitated diffusion). The rate of passage depends on the pressure, concentration and temperature of the molecules (or solutes) on either side, as well as the permeability of the membrane to each kind. ... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ...


The gas centrifuge

A cascade of gas centrifuges at a U.S. enrichment plant.
A cascade of gas centrifuges at a U.S. enrichment plant.
Main article: Gas centrifuge

The gas centrifuge process uses a large number of rotating cylinders in series and parallel formations. This rotation creates a strong centrifugal force so that the heavier gas molecules containing 238U move toward the outside of the cylinder and the lighter gas molecules rich in 235U collect closer to the center. It requires far less energy to achieve the same separation than the older gaseous diffusion process, which it has largely replaced. Image File history File links Gas_centrifuge_cascade. ... Image File history File links Gas_centrifuge_cascade. ... The gas centrifuge is a hyper-centrifuge used to produce enriched uranium. ...


The Zippe centrifuge

Diagram of the principles of a Zippe-type gas centrifuge with U-238 represented in dark blue and U-235 represented in light blue.
Diagram of the principles of a Zippe-type gas centrifuge with U-238 represented in dark blue and U-235 represented in light blue.
Main article: Zippe-type centrifuge

The Zippe centrifuge is an improvement on the standard gas centrifuge, the primary difference being the use of heat. The bottom of the rotating cylinders are heated, producing currents that move the 235U up the cylinder, where it can be collected by scoops. This improved centrifuge design is used commercially by Urenco to produce nuclear fuel and was used by Pakistan in their nuclear weapons program. The Pakistani government sold the Zippe-type technology to North Korea and Iran allowing them to develop their nuclear industry. Image File history File links Zippe-type_gas_centrifuge. ... Image File history File links Zippe-type_gas_centrifuge. ... The Zippe-type centrifuge is a device designed to collect Uranium-235. ... The Urenco Group operates uranium enrichment plants in Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom and supplies nuclear power stations in about 15 countries in Europe and overseas. ...


Aerodynamic processes

Schematic diagram of an aerodynamic nozzle. Many thousands of these small foils would be combined in an enrichment unit.
Schematic diagram of an aerodynamic nozzle. Many thousands of these small foils would be combined in an enrichment unit.

Aerodynamic enrichment processes include the Becker Jet Nozzle Techniques developed by EW Becker and associates and the vortex tube separation process. These aerodynamic separation processes depend upon diffusion driven by pressure gradients, as does the gas centrifuge. In effect, aerodynamic processes can be considered as non-rotating centrifuges. Enhancement of the centrifugal forces is achieved by dilution of UF6 with hydrogen or helium as a carrier gas achieving a much higher flow velocity for the gas than could be obtained using pure uranium hexafluoride. The Uranium Enrichment Corporation of South Africa (UCOR) developed and deployed the Helikon vortex separation process based on the vortex tube and a demonstration plant was built in Brazil by NUCLEI, a consortium led by Industrias Nucleares do Brasil that used the separation nozzle process. However both methods have high energy consumption and substantial requirements for removal of waste heat; neither is currently in use. Image File history File links Aerodynamic_enrichment_nozzle. ... Image File history File links Aerodynamic_enrichment_nozzle. ... The vortex tube, also known as the Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube, is a mechanical device that separates gas into hot and cold streams. ... Aerodynamics is a branch of fluid dynamics concerned with the study of gas flows, first analysed by George Cayley in the 1800s. ... General Name, Symbol, Number hydrogen, H, 1 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 1, 1, s Appearance colorless Atomic mass 1. ... General Name, Symbol, Number helium, He, 2 Chemical series noble gases Group, Period, Block 18, 1, s Appearance colorless Atomic mass 4. ... Necsa formerly the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa, was established as a public company by the Union of South Africa Nuclear Energy Act in 1999 and is wholly owned by the State. ... The Helikon vortex separation process is an aerodynamic uranium enrichment process designed around a device called a vortex tube. ...


Electromagnetic isotope separation

Schematic diagram of uranium isotope separation in a calutron shows how a strong magnetic field is used to redirect a stream of uranium ions to a target, resulting in a higher concentration of uranium-235 (represented here in light blue) in the outer fringes of the stream.
Schematic diagram of uranium isotope separation in a calutron shows how a strong magnetic field is used to redirect a stream of uranium ions to a target, resulting in a higher concentration of uranium-235 (represented here in light blue) in the outer fringes of the stream.
Main article: Calutron

Electromagnetic isotope separation process (EMIS). An electromagnetic separation process, the metallic uranium is first vaporized, and then ionized to positively charged ions. They are then accelerated and subsequently deflected by magnetic fields on to their respective collection targets. A production-scale mass spectrometer named the Calutron was developed during World War II that provided some of the 235U used for the Little Boy nuclear device, which was deployed over Hiroshima in 1945. Properly the term 'Calutron' applies to a multistage device arranged in a large oval around a powerful electromagnet. Magnetic separation has been largely abandoned in favour of more effective methods; however international inspectors found that Iraq had secretly constructed dozens of calutrons, purportedly for development of a nuclear bomb. Image File history File links Electromagnetic_separation. ... Image File history File links Electromagnetic_separation. ... Schematic diagram of uranium isotope separation in the calutron. ... Schematic diagram of uranium isotope separation in the calutron. ... Electromagnetism is the physics of the electromagnetic field: a field, encompassing all of space, composed of the electric field and the magnetic field. ... Mass spectrometry is a technique for separating ions by their mass-to-charge (m/z) ratios. ... Schematic diagram of uranium isotope separation in the calutron. ... A postwar Little Boy casing mockup. ... The Japanese city of Hiroshima ) is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshū, the largest of Japans islands. ...


Laser processes

Laser processes are a possible third-generation technology promising lower energy inputs, lower capital costs and lower tails assays, hence significant economic advantages.


AVLIS (Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation) is a method by which specially tuned lasers are used to separate isotopes of uranium using selective ionization of hyperfine transitions. The technique uses lasers which are tuned to frequencies that ionize a 235U atom and no others. The positively-charged 235U ions are then attracted to a negatively-charged plate and collected. AVLIS Is an acronym which stands for atomic vapor laser isotope separation and is a method by which specially tuned lasers are used to separate isotopes of uranium using selective ionization of hyperfine transitions. ... A LASER (from the acronym of Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is an optical source that emits photons in a coherent beam. ...


A second method of laser separation is known as molecular laser isotope separation (MLIS). In this method, an infrared laser is directed at uranium hexafluoride gas, exciting molecules that contain a 235U atom. A second laser frees a fluorine atom, leaving uranium pentafluoride which then precipitates out of the gas. Molecular laser isotope separation (MLIS) is a method of isotope separation, where specially tuned lasers are used to separate isotopes of uranium using selective ionization of hyperfine transitions of uranium hexafluoride molecules. ... General Name, Symbol, Number fluorine, F, 9 Chemical series halogens Group, Period, Block 17, 2, p Appearance Yellowish brown gas Atomic mass 18. ... Uranium pentafluoride is a coordination polymer which consists of UF4 units linked by bridging flourides forming linear chains. ...


An Australian development which is molecular and utilises UF6 called SILEX (Separation of Isotopes by Laser EXcitation) apparently is “fundamentally completely different from what has been tried elsewhere" according to Silex Systems Ltd.[1], the developer. Details of the process are currently not available. After a protracted development process involving U.S. enrichment company USEC acquiring and then relinquishing commercialization rights to the technology, General Electric has signed a commercialization agreement with Silex Systems in 2006 [2]. General Name, Symbol, Number silicon, Si, 14 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 14, 3, p Appearance dark gray, bluish tinge Atomic mass 28. ... The United States Enrichment Corporation is a corporation that contracts with the United States Department of Energy to produce Enriched uranium. ... GE redirects here. ...


None of these processes is yet ready for commercial use, though SILEX is well advanced.


Chemical methods

One chemical process has been demonstrated to pilot plant stage but not used. The French CHEMEX process exploited a very slight difference in the two isotopes' propensity to change valency in oxidation/reduction, utilising immiscible aqueous and organic phases. Valence, also known as valency or valency number, is a measure of the number of chemical bonds formed by the atoms of a given element. ... Semi-accurate illustration of a redox reaction Redox reactions include all chemical processes in which atoms have their oxidation number (oxidation state) changed. ...


An ion-exchange process was developed by the Asahi Chemical Company in Japan which applies similar chemistry but effects separation on a proprietary resin ion-exchange column. Ion exchange is a process in which ions are exchanged between a solution and an ion exchanger, an insoluble solid or gel. ...


Plasma separation

Plasma separation process (PSP) describes a technique potentially more efficient at uranium-enrichment that makes use of superconducting magnets and plasma physics. In this process, the principle of ion cyclotron resonance is used to selectively energize the 235U isotope in a plasma containing a mix of ions. The French developed their own version of PSP, which they called RCI. Funding for RCI was drastically reduced in 1986, and the program was suspended around 1990, although RCI is still used for stable isotope separation. Superconducting magnets are electromagnets that are built using superconducting coils. ... A Plasma lamp In physics and chemistry, a plasma is an ionized gas, and is usually considered to be a distinct phase of matter. ... A pair of Dee electrodes with loops of coolant pipes on their surface at the Lawrence Hall of Science. ... For other uses, see Plasma. ... An ion is an atom or group of atoms that normally are electrically neutral and achieve their status as an ion by loss or addition of one or more electrons. ...


Separative work unit

Separative Work Unit (SWU) is a complex unit which is a function of the amount of uranium processed and the degree to which it is enriched, and as such is the extent of increase in the concentration of the 235U isotope relative to the remainder.


Separative work is expressed in SWUs, kg SW, or kg UTA (from the German Urantrennarbeit )

  • 1 SWU = 1 kg SW = 1 kg UTA
  • 1 kSWU = 1 tSW = 1 t UTA
  • 1 MSWU = 1 ktSW = 1 kt UTA

The unit is strictly: Kilogram Separative Work Unit, and it measures the quantity of separative work, indicative of energy used in enrichment, when feed, tails and product quantities are expressed in kilograms. The work WSWU necessary to separate a mass F of feed of assay xf into a mass P of product assay xp, and tails of mass T and assay xt is expressed in terms of the number of separative work units needed, given by the expression In thermodynamics, thermodynamic work is a generalisation of the concept of mechanical work in mechanics. ...

W_mathrm{SWU} = P cdot Vleft(x_{p}right)+T cdot V(x_{t})-F cdot V(x_{f})

where Vleft(xright) is the value function, defined as

V(x) = (1 - 2x) cdot ln(frac{1 - x}{x})

The feed to product ratio is given by the expression

frac{F}{P} = frac{x_{p} - x_{t}}{x_{f} - x_{t}}

whereas the tails to product ratio is given by the expression

frac{T}{P} = frac{x_{p} - x_{f}}{x_{f} - x_{t}}

If, for example, you begin with 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of NU, it takes about 60 SWU to produce 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of LEU in 235U content to 4.5%, at a tails assay of 0.3%.


The number of Separative Work Units provided by an enrichment facility is directly related to the amount of energy that the facility consumes. Modern gaseous diffusion plants typically require 2,400 to 2,500 kilowatt-hours (8,600 to 9,000 megajoules or 9 gigajoules) of electricity per SWU while gas centrifuge plants require just 50 to 60 kilowatt-hours (180 to 220 MJ) of electricity per SWU. The kilowatt-hour (symbol: kW·h) is a unit for measuring energy. ... A megajoule (abbreviation: MJ) is a unit of energy equal to 1000000 joules. ... Look up gigajoule in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Example:


A large nuclear power station with a net electrical capacity of 1300 MW requires about 25,000 kg of LEU annually with a 235U concentration of 3.75%. This quantity is produced from about 210,000 kg of NU using about 120,000 SWU. An enrichment plant with a capacity of 1000 kSWU/yr is, therefore, able to enrich the uranium needed to fuel about eight large nuclear power stations.


Cost Issues


In addition to the Separative Work Units provided by an enrichment facility, the other important parameter that must be considered is the mass of NU that is needed in to order to yield a desired mass of enriched uranium. As with the number of SWUs, the amount of feed material required will also depend on the level of enrichment desired and upon the amount of 235U that ends up in the depleted uranium. However, unlike the number of SWUs required during enrichment which increases with decreasing levels of 235U in the depleted stream, the amount of NU needed will decrease with decreasing levels of 235U that end up in the DU.


For example, in the enrichment of LEU for use in a light water reactor it is typical for the enriched stream to contain 3.6% 235U (as compared to 0.7% in NU) while the depleted stream contains 0.2% to 0.3% 235U. In order to produce one kilogram of this LEU it would require approximately 8 kilograms of NU and 4.5 SWU if the DU stream was allowed to have 0.3% 235U. On the other hand, if the depleted stream had only 0.2% 235U, then it would require just 6.7 kilograms of NU, but nearly 5.7 SWU of enrichment. Because the amount of NU required and the number of SWUs required during enrichment change in opposite directions, if NU is cheap and enrichment services are relatively more expensive, then the operators will typically choose to allow more 235U to be left in the DU stream whereas if NU is relatively more expensive and enrichment is less so, then they would choose the opposite.

  • Uranium Enrichment Calculator designed by: the WISE Uranium Project

Downblending

The opposite of enriching is downblending; Surplus HEU can be downblended to LEU to make it suitable for use in commercial nuclear fuel.


The HEU feedstock, can contain unwanted uranium isotopes: 234U is a minor isotope contained in natural uranium; during the enrichment process, its concentration increases but remains well below 1%. High concentrations of 236U is a byproduct from irradiation in a reactor and may be contained in the HEU, depending on its manufacturing history. HEU reprocessed from nuclear weapons material production reactors (with an 235U assay of approx. 50%) may contain 236U concentrations as high as 25%, resulting in concentrations of approximately 1.5% in the blended LEU product. 236U is a neutron poison; therefore the actual 235U concentration in the LEU product must be raised accordingly to compensate for the presence of 236U. U-234 is an isotope of uranium. ... Natural uranium (NU) refers to refined uranium with the same isotopic ratios as found in nature. ...


The blendstock can be NU, or DU, however depending on feedstock quality, SEU at typically 1.5 wt% 235U may used as a blendstock to dilute the unwanted byproducts that may contained in the HEU feed. Concentrations of these isotopes in the LEU product in some cases could exceed ASTM specifications for nuclear fuel, if NU, or DU were used. So, the HEU downblending generally cannot contribute to the waste management problem posed by the existing large stockpiles of depleted uranium.Uranium is the one of the important component found in nature. ASTM International is an international voluntary standards organization that develops and produces technical standards for materials, products, systems and services. ...



A major downblending undertaking called the Megatons to Megawatts Program converts ex-Soviet weapons-grade HEU to fuel for U.S. commercial power reactors. From 1995 through mid-2005, 250 metric tons of high-enriched uranium (enough for 10,000 warheads) were recycled into low-enriched-uranium. The goal is to recycle 500 metric tons by 2013. The Megatons to Megawatts Program is the name given the program implementing the 1993 United States-Russia nonproliferation agreement to convert high-enriched uranium taken from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons into low-enriched-uranium for nuclear fuel. ...

  • A Uranium Downblending Calculator designed by the WISE Uranium Project

See also

Uranium mining is the process of extraction of uranium ore from the ground. ... 10 countries are responsible for 94 % of the global uranium extraction. ... // Nuclear reprocessing separates any usable elements (e. ... The United States Enrichment Corporation, a subsidiary of USEC Inc. ... The nuclear fuel cycle, also called nuclear fuel chain, is the progression of nuclear fuel through a series of differing stages. ... A nuclear power station. ... Eurodif, which means European Gaseous Diffusion Uranium Enrichment Consortium, is a subsidiary company of French company Cogéma which exploits a uranium enrichment plant established in the nuclear site of Tricastin in Pierrelatte in Drôme. ... The Urenco Group operates uranium enrichment plants in Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom and supplies nuclear power stations in about 15 countries in Europe and overseas. ...

External links

  • Uranium Enrichment and Nuclear Weapon Proliferation, by Allan S. Krass, Peter Boskma, Boelie Elzen and Wim A. Smit, 296 pp., Published for SIPRI by Taylor and Francis Ltd, London, 1983
  • Silex Systems Ltd
  • Nuclear Issues Briefing Paper 33
  • [3] Overview and history of U.S. HEU production
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  Results from FactBites:
 
Enriched uranium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2465 words)
Enriched uranium is uranium whose uranium-235 content has been increased through the process of isotope separation.
Enriched uranium is a critical component for both civil nuclear power generation and military nuclear weapons.
During the Manhattan Project enriched uranium was given the codename oralloy, a shortened version of Oak Ridge alloy, after the plant where the uranium was enriched.
Uranium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2951 words)
U or enriched uranium is important for both nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons because it is the only isotope existing in nature to any appreciable extent that is fissile, that is, fissionable by thermal neutrons.
Uranium carbonate (UO)) is found in both the mineral and organic fractions of coal and its fly ash and is the main component of uranium in mine tailing seepage water.
Uranium does not absorb through the skin, and alpha particles released by uranium cannot penetrate the skin, so uranium that is outside the body is much less harmful than it would be if it were inhaled or swallowed.
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