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WISE Uranium Project - HELP


(last updated 27 Nov 2020)

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What can I find on this site?


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Well, quite interesting, but why does it all look so 90's?
- Quite simple: because it is 1990's!

 


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Mine and mill operating status

"property"/ no information
prospection/exploration ongoing
prospection/exploration halted
prospection/exploration finished
under construction/development
construction/development halted
construction/development completed
operating
operation halted (idle)
operation terminated (closed)
reclamation ongoing
reclamation partially completed
reclamation completed

 

Mine and mill type

  open pit mine
  underground mine
  in situ leaching
  heap leaching
  mill
  tailings recovery

 

Project status / Issues

Deposit
developing
, operating
terminated
decommissioning
regulatory

 

Mining companies

trying to acquire, or owning, uranium claim, tenement, lease, property, prospect, etc.
owning uranium deposit(s)
planning to develop, or developing, uranium mine(s)
mining uranium   ·   big uranium miner (> 1000 t U/a)
uranium mining halted   ·   no longer mining uranium

The flags used on this site are taken from Mooney's MiniFlags (created by the Flags of the World group).

 


ACRONYMS


DOE
U.S. Department of Energy

DU
depleted uranium

EPA
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

ESA
Euratom Supply Agency

GDP
Gaseous Diffusion Plant

GW
gigawatt (unit of power), 1 GW = 109 W = 106 kW = 1 million kW

GWh
gigawatt-hour (unit of energy), 1 GWh = 109 Wh = 106 kWh = 1 million kWh

HALEU
High Assay Low-Enriched Uranium

HEU
highly enriched uranium

HLW
High-Level Radioactive Waste

HWR
heavy water reactor

IAEA
International Atomic Energy Agency , Vienna

ISL
in-situ leaching

ISR
in-situ recovery

kg SWU
= SWU

LEU
Low Enriched Uranium

LLW
Low-Level Radioactive Waste

LWR
light water reactor

MOX
mixed oxide fuel

MW
megawatt (unit of power), 1 MW = 106 W = 1000 kW

NEA
OECD Nuclear Energy Agency , Paris

NPT
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

NRC
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

RAR
Reasonably Assured Resources

REMIX
regenerated mixture fuel

RepU
reprocessed uranium

SWU
Separative Work Unit

t
metric tonne = 1000 kg

t SWU
= 1000 SWU

t U
metric tonne uranium contained in some compound

TRISO
Tristructural-isotropic fuel

TWh
terawatt-hour (unit of energy), 1 TWh = 1012 Wh = 109 kWh = 1 billion kWh

UF4
uranium tetrafluoride

UF6
uranium hexafluoride

UNH
uranyl nitrate hexahydrate

UO2
uranium dioxide

UO2F2
uranyl fluoride

UO2(NO3)2·6H2O
uranyl nitrate hexahydrate

UO3
uranium trioxide

UOC
uranium ore concentrate

U3O8
triuranium octoxide

wt-%
weight-percent

 


GLOSSARY


alpha-neutron (a,n) reaction
The alpha radiation from the decay of uranium sets off alpha-neutron reactions with the fluorine contained in some uranium compounds (in particular in UF4, UF6, and UO2F2), thereby generating neutron radiation from such compounds, in addition to the neutron radiation from spontaneous fission of the uranium isotope U-238.
> see also: Alpha-Neutron Reaction Calculator

alpha radiation
emission of alpha particles (2 protons and 2 neutrons); results from the alpha decay of radioactive isotopes; heavy impact on organic matter; short range only; most hazardous when incorporated

assay
concentration of an isotope (uranium isotope U-235 subsumed, if not indicated otherwise) in uranium, usually given as weight-%

beta radiation
emission of electrons; results from the beta decay of radioactive isotopes; presents limited-range external radiation exposure hazard; may cause X-ray radiation by interaction with matter (Bremsstrahlung)

blendstock
uranium (LEU, natural uranium, or DU) used for downblending of HEU

conversion
here: conversion of uranium from one chemical form into another one (usually U3O8 to UF6, if not indicated otherwise); conversion of uranium ore concentrate requires a refining step first

criticality

decay
spontaneous disintegration of a radioactive nuclide into a different nuclide (not to be confused with fission); the decay rate (described by its half-life) is specific for each nuclide; depending on the type of the decay, it is accompanied by the release of alpha, beta, and/or gamma radiation; the decay product may also be radioactive, thus forming a whole decay series
> see also: Uranium Decay Calculator · Universal Decay Calculator

de-conversion
reversal of the conversion process (usually UF6 to U3O8, if not indicated otherwise)

depleted uranium (DU)
uranium (of any chemical form) with concentration of the fissile uranium isotope U-235 lower than in natural uranium (i.e. less than 0.711 weight-%) (view details ); by-product from uranium enrichment in the form of UF6.

downblending
mixing of HEU with blendstock uranium, to obtain LEU for nuclear fuel (view details )
> see also: Uranium Downblending Calculator

enriched uranium
uranium (of any chemical form) with concentration of the fissile uranium isotope U-235 higher than in natural uranium (i.e. greater than 0.711 weight-%) (view details ); enriched uranium presents a criticality hazard

enrichment
process of increasing the concentration of the fissile uranium isotope U-235 in uranium, usually by physical processes, such as gas diffusion or gas centrifugation; produces a product stream of enriched uranium and a byproduct stream of depleted uranium (tails)
> see also: Uranium Enrichment Calculator

equilibrium factor
factor describing the ratio between radon and its short-lived decay products in air (view details )

feed (enrichment)
uranium introduced into the enrichment cascade as UF6

fissile material
nuclides that can be split by induced fission (by accumulating a critical mass - intentionally in nuclear reactors and weapons, or accidentally in criticality events -, or through external neutron bombardment):

fission
splitting of a nuclide (not to be confused with decay); releases radiation (in particular gamma and neutron radiation) and large amounts of energy; either

gamma radiation
penetrating electromagnetic radiation; released from most alpha and beta decays; presents external radiation exposure hazard

Gaseous Diffusion Plant (GDP)
enrichment plant using the gaseous diffusion process

green salt
uranium tetrafluoride (UF4)

half-life
measure used to describe the rate at which the decay of a radioactive nuclide occurs; it is the time period, during which half of a given amount of the specific nuclide has decayed away; it is specific for each isotope and ranges from fractions of a second to billions of years

heap leaching
method to recover uranium from low-grade uranium ore by piling the ore (mined by conventional mining techniques) after some crushing up on a heap that is percolated by a leaching liquid; the liquid is then catched at the bottom of the pile, and the uranium is recovered from the liquid in a processing plant; the end product is uranium ore concentrate. (view details )

Heavy Water Reactor (HWR)
runs on natural UO2 fuel (view details )

heels
residue left in a UF6 cylinder after unloading; strong emitter of gamma radiation (view details )

hex
uranium hexafluoride (UF6)

High Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU)
LEU with an assay of the fissile uranium isotope U-235 greater than 5 and less than 20 weight-%

Highly-Enriched Uranium (HEU)
uranium with an assay of the fissile uranium isotope U-235 of 20 weight-%, or higher (only used in nuclear weapons and in some research reactors)

in-situ leaching (ISL)
also known as solution mining or in-situ recovery, recovery of uranium from a permeable underground uranium ore body by chemical leaching (acidic or alkaline), without removal of the ore from the deposit: a leaching solution (view details ) is injected into the deposit, where it dissolves the uranium (and other minerals), before it is pumped back to the surface, where it is treated in a processing plant to recover the uranium

in-situ recovery (ISR)
in-situ leaching

light water reactor (LWR)
such as Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) and Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR), requires enriched uranium with an U-235 assay of 3-5 weight-% as nuclear fuel

low-enriched uranium (LEU)
uranium with an assay of the fissile uranium isotope U-235 greater than 0.711 and less than 20 weight-% (as used in LWRs)

MAGNOX reactor
graphite moderated, gas cooled reactor, running on natural uranium metal fuel (view details )

mixed oxide fuel (MOX)
nuclear fuel for LWRs, with some of the fissile uranium isotope U-235 replaced by plutonium (view details )
> see also: MOX Fuel Calculator

natural uranium
uranium (of any chemical form) of natural isotopic composition, i.e. containing 0.711 weight-% (equiv. to 0.72 atom-%) of the fissile uranium isotope U-235 (view details )

neutron activation
transformation of one nuclide into another, when exposed to neutron radiation; used in the nuclear industry e.g. in the following cases: > see also: Neutron Activation Calculator

neutron radiation
emission of neutrons, presenting mostly a long-range external radiation hazard.
In irradiated matter, it may cause neutron activation.
It results from

nuclear fuel

plutonium (Pu)
artificial radioactive element formed by irradiation of nuclear fuel or depleted uranium metal targets in a nuclear reactor, occurs as various isotopes, e.g.: (all of the isotopes listed above also undergo spontaneous fission).
can be extracted from spent fuel by reprocessing; can be used for the production of MOX fuel (view details ); also used in nuclear weapons, thus presenting a proliferation hazard.

product (enrichment)
enriched uranium in the form of UF6

radiation
emission of particles or electromagnetic energy, accompanying various types of transformation of atoms, whether inherent (e.g. decay, spontaneous fission), or induced (e.g. fission by neutron bombardment, alpha-neutron reactions)

radiation shielding
reducing the strength of radiation by placing layers of appropriate material(s) between source and point of exposure. The shielding effect increases with the thickness of the shield material.
For the shielding of penetrating electromagnetic radiation (such as gamma and X-Ray), lead is widely used, but in certain cases also depleted uranium (as metal or U3O8), although it emits some radiation by itself.

radioactive
property of an unstable nuclide which disintegrates by spontaneous decay, thereby emitting radiation

radium (Ra)
radioactive element; occurs as various isotopes, e.g.: further isotopes are generated during irradiation of nuclear fuel in a reactor

radon (Rn)
gaseous radioactive element generated from the decay of radium, presents an inhalation hazard, in particular from its decay products (view details ); occurs as various isotopes, e.g.: further isotopes are generated during irradiation of nuclear fuel in a reactor

radon progeny
short-lived decay products of radon

recycled uranium
reprocessed uranium (RepU)

re-enrichment
use of depleted uranium (DU) or reprocessed uranium (RepU) rather than natural uranium as feed for the enrichment process

refining
purification step preceding the actual chemical conversion in the conversion of uranium ore concentrate to UF6

regenerated mixture (REMIX) fuel
nuclear fuel made from a mixture of reprocessed uranium (RepU) and plutonium, both extracted from spent nuclear fuel, with addition of small volumes of enriched uranium

reprocessed uranium (RepU)
uranium recovered from spent fuel in the form of uranyl nitrate hexahydrate (UNH), can be recycled into new fuel, contains unwanted uranium isotope U-236 (a neutron absorber reducing the reactivity) and other contaminants (view details )

secondary tails
tails generated from re-enrichment of depleted uranium tails

Separative Work Unit (SWU)
measure for the enrichment process, also referred to as "kg SWU"

shielding
radiation shielding

solution mining
in-situ leaching

spent nuclear fuel
irradiated nuclear fuel removed from a nuclear power plant, contains artificial uranium isotopes, transuranics, activation products, fission products, and all their decay products; the plutonium and residual uranium contained can be recovered by reprocessing (view details )

spontaneous fission
fission of an atom that occurs spontaneously (without any external trigger).
The uranium isotope U-238 and various plutonium isotopes undergo spontaneous fission at a low rate, emitting some neutron radiation, independent of their chemical compound.
> see also: Alpha-Neutron Reaction Calculator (also covers spontaneous fission)

tailings
here: uranium mill tailings
(not to be mistaken for tails!)

tails (enrichment)
here: byproduct in the form of UF6 from enrichment of uranium (not to be mistaken for uranium mill tailings!)

tails assay
concentration of the fissile uranium isotope U-235 in tails, usually given as weight-percent

tails upgrading
equivalent to re-enrichment of tails

thorium (Th)
radioactive element, that naturally occurs as various isotopes, e.g.: further isotopes are generated during irradiation of nuclear fuel in a reactor:

Tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) fuel
spherical uranium-based nuclear fuel for experimental U.S. Department of Defense microreactors, space reactors, and civil "advanced" reactors

triuranium octoxide (U3O8)
chemical form of uranium in uranium ore concentrate (UOC), also used for the long-term storage and disposal of depleted uranium (DU)

upgrading (tails)
equivalent to re-enrichment of tails

uranium (U)
radioactive element that is found as natural uranium in low concentrations in most of the earth's crust, and in higher concentrations in uranium ore deposits

Isotopes of natural uranium:

Artificial isotopes generated during irradiation of nuclear fuel in a reactor:

uranium dioxide (UO2)
chemical form of uranium (of any isotopic composition) used in nuclear fuel for

uranium hexafluoride (UF6)
highly toxic chemical form of uranium (of any isotopic composition) used in enrichment by gas diffusion or gas centrifugation; a grey crystalline solid at ambient temperature, it vaporizes above 56.4░C; also known as hex Uranium hexafluoride is chemically very reactive, and therefore presents an inhalation hazard not only for its radioactivity, but also for its chemical aggressivity.
In uranium hexafluoride, alpha radiation from the decay of uranium sets off alpha-neutron reactions with fluorine, thereby generating neutron radiation in addition to that resulting from spontaneous fission of the uranium isotope U-238.

uranium metal
uranium of any isotopic composition in the form of metal Finely divided uranium metal presents an ignition hazard.

uranium mill
plant that recovers uranium from uranium ore that was mined in a conventional (i.e. open pit or underground) uranium mine, by mechanical (crushing, grinding) and subsequent chemical processing; the end product is either Yellow Cake, or uranium ore concentrate (UOC); the mill generates a waste stream of uranium mill tailings

uranium mill tailings
the slurry/sand-like waste arising from uranium milling, still containing 85% of the radioactivity initially present in the ore (view details )

uranium mine
facility that extracts

uranium ore
rock containing uranium in concentrations that can be recovered economically by uranium mining (view details )

uranium ore concentrate (UOC)
marketable end product of uranium extraction from uranium ore, obtained either has greyish or greenish color; contains at least 90% U3O8; is often imprecisely referred to as "Yellow Cake", but is actually obtained from Yellow Cake by calcining (view details )

uranium tetrafluoride (UF4)
highly toxic intermediate chemical form of uranium in various processing schemes; a green crystalline solid, also known as "green salt".
In uranium tetrafluoride, alpha radiation from the decay of uranium sets off alpha-neutron reactions with fluorine, thereby generating neutron radiation in addition to that resulting from spontaneous fission of the uranium isotope U-238.

uranium trioxide (UO3)
intermediate chemical form of uranium in various processing schemes

uranyl fluoride (UO2F2)
highly toxic intermediate chemical form of uranium in the de-conversion of UF6.
In uranyl fluoride, alpha radiation from the decay of uranium sets off alpha-neutron reactions with fluorine, thereby generating neutron radiation in addition to that resulting from spontaneous fission of the uranium isotope U-238.

uranyl nitrate hexahydrate (UNH): UO2(NO3)2·6H2O
highly toxic intermediate chemical form of uranium in various processing schemes, in particular of reprocessed uranium

X-ray radiation
penetrating electromagnetic radiation, resulting e.g. from interaction of beta radiation with matter (Bremsstrahlung)

yellow cake
penultimate end product of uranium extraction from uranium ore, containing 70% - 90% U3O8, named after its glowing yellow color, can be processed into uranium ore concentrate (UOC) by calcining

 


UNIT CONVERSION

> see also Unit Converter!

Uranium Contents
1 lb U3O8 = 0.385 kg U
1 million lbs U3O8 = 385 tonnes U
1 kg U = 2.6 lb U3O8
1 tonne U = 2600 lbs U3O8
1 short ton U3O8 = 0.77 tonnes U1 tonne U = 1.3 short tons U3O8
1 tonne U3O8 = 0.848 tonnes U1 tonne U = 1.179 tonnes U3O8
1 tonne UF6 = 0.676 tonnes U1 tonne U = 1.479 tonnes UF6
1 tonne UO2 = 0.8815 tonnes U1 tonne U = 1.134 tonnes UO2

Mass
1 lb = 0.45359 kg1 kg = 2.2046 lb
1 short ton = 0.907185 metric tonnes1 metric tonne = 1.1023 short tons

Volume
1 US gallon = 3.7853 l
1000 US gallons = 3.7853 m3
1 l = 0.26418 US gallons
1 m3 = 264.18 US gallons
1 cubic foot = 0.02832 m31 m3 = 35.31 cubic feet
1 cubic yard = 0.7646 m31 m3 = 1.3079 cubic yards
1 acre foot = 1233.5 m31000 m3 = 0.8107 acre foot

Area
1 acre = 4046.8 m2 = 0.40468 ha1 ha = 10000 m2 = 2.471 acres
1 square mile = 2.59 km21 km2 = 0.3861 square miles

Radiation
1 pCi = 0.037 Bq
1 Ci = 3.7 x 10 10 Bq
1 Bq = 27.027 pCi
1 pCi/l = 37 Bq/m31 Bq/m3 = 0.027 pCi/l
1 rem = 0.01 Sv
1 mrem = 10 ÁSv
1 Sv = 100 rem
1 ÁSv = 0.1 mrem
1 rad = 0.01 Gy1 Gy = 100 rad

 

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