Enriched Uranium

Enriched uranium is a type of uranium in which the percent composition of uranium-235 has been increased through the process of isotope separation. Natural uranium is 99.284% 238U isotope, with 235U only constituting about 0.711% of its weight. 235U is the only nuclide existing in nature (in any appreciable amount) that is fissile with thermal neutrons.

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.

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. There are about 2,000 tonnes (t, Mg) of highly enriched uranium in the world, produced mostly for nuclear weapons, naval propulsion, and smaller quantities for research reactors.

The 238U remaining after enrichment is known as depleted uranium (DU), and is considerably less radioactive than even natural uranium, though still very dense and extremely hazardous in granulated form—such granules are a natural by-product of the shearing action that makes it useful for armor-penetrating weapons, and radiation shielding. At present, 95% of the world's stocks of depleted uranium remain in secure storage.

Read more about Enriched Uranium:  Enrichment Methods, Separative Work Unit, Downblending, Global Enrichment Facilities

Other articles related to "enriched uranium, uranium":

Enriched Uranium - Global Enrichment Facilities
... Iran's holding entitling it to 10% of the enriched uranium output ... It has also been claimed that Israel has a uranium enrichment program housed at the Negev Nuclear Research Center site near Dimona ...
Al Tarmia
... isotope separation (EMIS) program for the enrichment of uranium ... Tarmiya was the site of the 20 calutrons used to enrich uranium to 35%, located in two buildings at the site ... in operation in September 1990, resulting in the production of around half a kilogram of 4% enriched uranium ...
Australia And Weapons Of Mass Destruction - Nuclear Weapons
... The new reactor is designed to use low-enriched uranium fuel and an open pool light water system ... Australia has substantial deposits of uranium which account for 30% of the world's known reserves ... government policy restricted exploitation of uranium deposits to three established mines ...
Richard Burr - Controversies - Uranium Enrichment and MDS Nordian
... on the exports of specific types of enriched uranium, first enacted in the Schumer Amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 1992 ... civilian exports of weapons grade highly-enriched uranium (HEU) to encourage foreign users to switch to reactor grade low-enriched uranium (LEU) for isotope ...
UF Training Reactor
... It has a power limit of 100 kW and uses low-enriched uranium (LEU) as fuel ... The core contains a number of pounds of low-enriched uranium ... The UFTR underwent a conversion to low-enriched uranium as a part of anti-terrorism initiatives in 2006 ...

Famous quotes containing the word enriched:

    The windy springs and the blazing summers, one after another, had enriched and mellowed that flat tableland; all the human effort that had gone into it was coming back in long, sweeping lines of fertility. The changes seemed beautiful and harmonious to me; it was like watching the growth of a great man or of a great idea. I recognized every tree and sandbank and rugged draw. I found that I remembered the conformation of the land as one remembers the modelling of human faces.
    Willa Cather (1873–1947)