Module 101 Properties of Uranium
MODULE 101 - Properties of Uranium
EO1 Describe the physical, radioactive, toxicological, and
chemical properties and biological effects of uranium.
Uranium can be encountered as a solid, liquid, or gas,
depending on its chemical form and surrounding
conditions. Each of these physical forms has particular
hazards. Sometimes, changing the form of uranium can
lead to radioactive decay products accumulating or
becoming concentrated in a particular location, such as on
the surface of a liquid. The result can be an apparent
increase in the radioactivity.
Provide a facility specific
example of uranium in a
The solid forms of uranium are generally the most
stable configurations. The shiny, silvery metal form
is rarely seen except in a workshop when it is being
machined. After machining, the surface oxidizes,
typically within hours, to a hard, black surface.
After some time, depending on temperature,
humidity, and alloy, the surface may change color
and begin to flake. Orange or yellow colored
surfaces are usually more flaky and soluble. In these
forms, contamination can be more easily spread,
inhaled, and absorbed into the body.