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DOE-HDBK-1113-98
Module 101 Properties of Uranium
Lesson Plan
Instructor's Notes
NAT.
HALF-
IMPORTANCE
ISOTOPE
ABUND.
LIFE
An unwanted byprodu ct of 233U
production in a breeder reactor. Due
232
to its much shorter half-life,  232U
U
70 y
0%
contributes most of the radioactivity
in samples of 233U.
Manufactured by irrad iating 232Th
233
1.6 x 10 5 y
U
0%
with neutrons. It is a criticality
hazard because it is fissile.
238
A decay product of
U. It is
concentrated with  235U during
enrichment. Highly enriched uranium
234
2.5 x 105 y
U
0.0055%
contains about 1% 234U. Most of the
radioactivity of enriched uranium is
from the 234U.
Fissile with slow neutrons; therefore,
it is of primary interest for reactors
7.1 x 108 y
235
and weap ons. If not ha ndled safely,
~0.7%
U
235
U could
an accumulation of
become critical.
Some 235U is converted to  236U in
236
2.3 x 107 y
reactors. It is also present in
U
0%
reprocessed reactor fuel.
The most abundant uranium isotope.
It is fissionable with fast neutrons;
238
4.5 x 109 y
U
~99.3%
however, it is not fissile (i.e., with
thermal neutrons) so it is not a
criticality hazard.
11


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