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World Health Organization : Year 2001 ; World Health Organization, Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments, Protection of the Human Environment, No. 01.1 Annexe1-3: Annex 1 ; Process of Uranium Enrichment

By World Health Organization

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Book Id: WPLBN0000141340
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Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: World Health Organization : Year 2001 ; World Health Organization, Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments, Protection of the Human Environment, No. 01.1 Annexe1-3: Annex 1 ; Process of Uranium Enrichment  
Author: World Health Organization
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Language: English
Subject: Health., Public health, Wellness programs
Collections: Medical Library Collection, World Health Collection
Historic
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Publisher: World Health Organization

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Organization, W. H. (n.d.). World Health Organization : Year 2001 ; World Health Organization, Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments, Protection of the Human Environment, No. 01.1 Annexe1-3. Retrieved from http://hawaiilibrary.net/


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Medical Reference Publication

Excerpt
After mineral extraction, processed uranium ore (or more exceptionally uranium generated from the recycling of nuclear fuel or reactor materials) undergoes a variety of chemical processes leading to enhancement with respect to both the total concentration and chemical purity of the produced uranium compounds. Following this chemical treatment, the purified uranium may be isotopically enriched, if required, by a number of processes including gaseous diffusion, centrifugation or laser excitation (e.g. Weigel, 1983). Such enrichment is now almost exclusively for the nuclear power industry. Depleted uranium is produced in various forms as a by-product of the isotopic enrichment of uranium (Figure A1.1). In the most common isotopic enrichment process (gaseous diffusion) uranium is required in the form of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) which may be produced via the following chemical reactions: U308 + 2H2 = 3UO2 + 2H2O; UO2 + 4HF = UF4 + 2H2O; UF4 + F2 = UF6 At atmospheric pressure, UF6 exists as a gas above 57°C, and as a solid below this temperature. It sublimes, as does carbon dioxide without passing through a liquid state. Chemically, UF6 is highly reactive with water forming water soluble hydrofluoric acid (HF) and uranyl fluoride (UO2F2), the former of which is considered to be highly toxic. For this reason DU, produced as a by-product of the enrichment processes in the form of UF6, is often re-converted to less hazardous forms. These include uranium oxides (UO2 or U3O8) which are more chemically stable and suitable for long-term storage or disposal, or to U metal (AEPI, 1995).

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