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DOE-HDBK-1113-98
Module 102 The Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Lesson Plan
Instructor's Notes
most of the world's production of uranium is used for
nuclear reactors.
Show OT-14
C.
Sources of Uranium
Show OT-15
Uranium is found in the earth's crust and is mined as ore.
The average concentration is 2 parts per million (ppm) in
the crust and less than 2 parts per billion (ppb) in the
oceans. During the 1960's and 1970's, a program titled the
Natural Uranium Resource Exploration was funded by the
government to identify the locations of desirable uranium
ore throughout the United States. It was determined that
the most desirable locations of uranium are in the Colorado
Plateau, the Wyoming Basin, and the flanks of the Black
Hills in South Dakota. In those locations, the uranium
concentration is much higher than 2 ppm. Uranium is also
found on the African Continent. The ore is removed from
either shallow open pit s (less t han 300-fo ot, or10 0 m,
depths) or underground mines (greater than 300-foot
depths). The typical uranium content of the ore is 0.15 - 0.3
percent and is in the form of U3O8, which is called
"yellowcake." Uranium is also found in secondary minerals
in the following forms: complex oxides, silicates,
phosphates, and vanadates.
Show OT-16
D.
Uranium Operations and Processes
Discuss the use of uranium at
Uranium processing is dependent upon the desired product,
your site as it is described in this
but it generally involves the following cycle:
section of the lesson plan.
21


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