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Radioactive Properties - hdbk1113cn10117
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Radiological Safety Training for Uranium Facilities - index
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Decay Series - hdbk1113cn10119


DOE-HDBK-1113-98
Radiological Safety Training for Uranium Facilities
Module 101 - Properties of Uranium
HALF-
NAT.
ISOTOPE
IMPORTANCE
LIFE
ABUND.
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
with neutrons. It is a criticality
U
0%
hazard because it is fissile.
238
U. It is
A decay product of
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
an accumulation of
U could
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.
As uranium goes through radioactive decay, it produces other radioactive elements known as
radioactive decay products (also called progeny or daughter products). These radioactive decay
products are also radioactive and have to be taken into account for radiological protection purposes.
4


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