Dissertation On Uranium And Its Isotopes

673 words - 3 pages

1 Introduction
Uranium (U) has received much focus from scientists to government officials throughout the world since the discovery of fission. With attention increasing on uranium, specifically the fissile isotope 235, ideas of controlling acquisition was brought forth. It was suggested by scientists of the Manhattan Project that some organized system of control was needed on nuclear technology, including uranium [citation needed]. The Acheson-Lillienthal report (look up report) described the imperfect nature of technology controls, and suggested an approach focused more on material controls [citation needed]. While the current International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system ...view middle of the document...

This research proposes to investigate variations in uranium ore isotopics, specifically uranium 236, in geologic uranium deposits to potentially use to identify source information.

1.1 Natural Uranium Variations in Geologic Ores
Uranium consists of four naturally occurring isotopes (238U, 235U, 234U, and 236U), with multiple oxidation states. Variations in uranium isotopics are unique in that both chemical (redox interactions) and nuclear processes (decay and volume-fractionation) play an important role. Four oxidation states known for uranium ions in aqueous solutions (+III to +VI) which usually exist as U+3, U+4, UO2+, and UO2+2 [Gindler, 1978]. Under oxidizing conditions, uranium is primarily present in the hexavalent (VI) state, which can form highly mobile soluble complexes (primarily with carbonates) [Langmuir, 1997]. In a reducing environment, however, uranium will primarily occur in the tetravalent (IV) state. U+4 tends to form relatively insoluble complexes and has higher sorption kinetics compared to the hexavalent state [Langmuir, 1997].
With an increase in measurement capabilities, all three isotopic ratios (relative to 238U) have been shown to naturally vary in some degree due to various factors. The first uranium isotopic that was discovered to have...

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