Uranium project: give me material!

I am doing a project on Uranium, basically saying what it is, what it is used for etc. I'm doing a four-page leaflet (each page is half an A4 page in size) and one of those pages is being used for the title page. This page says...

[quote="I"]Uranium is very useful. It is used for...
- Creating energy
- Vaseline glass
- Shielding to protect tanks
- Radioactive dating
- Phosphate fertilisers
- Making of high-energy X-rays
- Inertial guidance contraptions in gyroscopic compasses
- Parts of bullets and missiles
- Blowing up Japanese cities

I obtained this information from Wikipedia.

The second page is going through the chemical properties (atomic number and weight etc) and some of the uses. It's halfway there, so I don't know what else will be on there.

I have two more pages, then. I think I'll do one page on vaseline (that glowing yellow/green glass), but I'm not sure what to write on that. Ad then ther is the last page.

Any help greatly appreciated! :wink:


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Suggestions: Natural

Natural Enrichment is just: 0.711 wt. % U-235 in the uranium.
(the table is in #% and have to be converted to wt.%) However, the U-234 at just 0.0054 wt.% but accounts for most of the radiation.
Commercial Power Plants only need it enriched to ~5 wt.% - weapons need it almost completely U-235, which takes and incredible amount of energy for each unit of isotopic seperation. So the differnece between Natural U (like in the glass) Power Plant Fuel and Weapons Grade is like comparing a beat-up 60's VW bug to a typical Toyota Camry to a brand new Lamborghini.
The decay chain with 16 daughter elements is fasinating, and includes Radon gas which the audiance should know about. Note that U-235 and U-238 have different decay chains. U-234 only exists in nature because it is in U-238's decay chain.

235U -a- 231Th -b- 231Pa -a-227Ac -b- 227Th -a- 223Ra -a- 219Rn -a-
This is 4 second Radon, hardly enough time to get out of the soil and travel and get trapped in a home. However:
238U -a- 234Th -b- 234Pa -b- 234U -a- 230Th -a- 226Ra -a- 222Rn -a-
This chain produces 4 day Radon, which is enough time to leave the soil and get trapped in a house. 222Rn decays by releasing a 5.6 MeV alpha particle, so that’s a pretty heavy hit to the lungs.

(Sorry the Alpha, Beta, carrot symbols and superscripts did not transfere over!)

You can actually get some

You can actually get some pieces on glass company. Like having the scrap materials.

You should mention the different isotopes of uranium and how uranium is constantly sacrificing itself to produce new elements like thorium (useful for making the gas mantles for Coleman lamps) and the different decay series.

You might also mention that uranium was once used as an alloying agent for steel, so many old public buildings in Colorado, where there was lots of U hanging around, are radioactive. Then, there is the fact that martin Klaproth discovered Uranium and named it after Uranus the new planet, starting a trend of naming new elements after astronomical discoveries (cerium palladium ...).

There is also the interesting fact that certain plants concentrate U in there tissues; the best known of these plants is tobacco, so that tobacco leave will give you more radiation than a dental xray.

On the uses of U, it was a dopant in the glass glaze for certain colors of old china in a line called "fiestaware". I want to say it was the orange colored pieces (I just searched ebay, and found 1000+ matches for fiestaware). One of my professors that runs the electron mic lab filled us in, as his raditation badge came back WAY over acceptable limits. Turns out, he use to toss his keys and badge on an old fiestaware dish.

Uranium was used to make a sick yellow-green glass called vaseline glass by collectors by collectors of depression glass.

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