What is uranium?
- Uranium (U) is the silver-white, dense, lustrous, and mildly radioactive metallic element which is present in nature and found in very minute amounts in soils, rocks, air, animals, plants and in human beings.
- The uranium that exists in nature is a mix of 3 radioactive isotopes that are identified with mass numbers 235U (0.72% by mass), 234U (0.0054%) and 238U (99.27%).
- An estimated 90 µg of uranium is found in humans. This is found in food, water and air. 66% of uranium is found in human skeleton, 8% in kidneys and 16% in liver. The rest are found in all other tissues.
- This metallic element is used in nuclear plants but majority of the reactors need uranium with 235U content, enriched from 0.72% to 1.5 to 3%.