Locations

Large deposits of Uranium in the U.S are found in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Most of Canada’s Uranium comes from the province of Saskatchewan. There is a lot of Uranium in the oceans but we do not have the technology to mine it at a cheap cost.

Mining

When uranium is extracted, pitchblende is broken up and mixed with sulfuric and nitric acids. It then dissolves into uranyl sulfate. With the addition of sodium hydroxide, uranium is precipitated as sodium diuranate which is known as the yellow oxide of uranium. To get uranium from carnotite, the ore must be finely ground and treated with a hot solution of caustic and potash to dissolve out the uranium, radium, and vanadium. And after the sandy matrix is washed away, the solution is treated with sulfuric acid and barium chloride. A caustic alkali solution is then added to the remaining clear liquid precipitates the uranium and radium into concentrated form.

Properties

Uranium will melt at 1132 degrees Celsius, and boils at about 3818 degrees Celsius. Its atomic weight is 238.029 and its atomic number is 92.

Uses

Uranium several uses, it is used in nuclear weapons and in nuclear power plants. They used uranium in 1954 for the first nuclear powered submarine in the U.S.

History

Uranium was discovered in 1789 in pitchblende by a German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth who named it after the planet Uranus. The radioactive properties of uranium were first showed in 1896 when a French physicist Antoine Henri Becquerel produced an image on a photographic plate covered with a light-absorbing substance.

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