Inorganic chemistry

Why is Uranium 235 ideal for nuclear power?

Uranium 235?

Uranium 235:uranium


Uranium 235:

Uranium 235 the most common fuel in nuclear power plants , uranium is one of the symbols of radioactivity and nuclear energy .

The uranium Natural consists of three isotopes radioactive (238U, 235U and 234U). Most reactors operate on 235U enriched uranium (about 1.5 to 3% instead of 0.72% normally).


  • Symbol: U
  • Atomic number: 92
  • Electrons by energy level : 2, 8, 18, 32, 21, 9, 2
  • Atomic mass: 238.02891 u
  • The most stable isotopes:  238 U with a half-life of 4.4688 billion years (99.2742%),  235 U with a half-life of 703.8 million years (0.7202%)
  • Series: actinide
  • Group, period, block: L / A, 7, f
  • Density: 19.1
  • Point of fusion : 1135 ° C
  • Boiling point: 4.131 ° C

History of uranium 235:

Uranium was discovered by Klaproth in 1789 while conducting experiments on pitchblende. The metal was isolated for the first time in 1841.


Klaproth named the element he had just discovered “uranium” in tribute to the planet Uranus , which had been discovered a few years earlier. It itself takes its name from Ouranos , the sky god among the Greeks.

Properties of uranium 235:

1.Once purified, uranium is a silver-white, shiny, fairly dense metal.

2.It is harder than most other elements.

3.Malleable, ductile and slightly paramagnetic , uranium is also highly electropositive.

4.It is however a bad electrical conductor.

5.Uranium reacts with almost all non-metallic elements, except rare gases .

6.It is ubiquitous in nature and found in varying but low amounts in rocks, soil, water, air , plants, animals and humans.

7.There is an average of approximately 90 μg (micrograms) of uranium in the human body from air, water and absorbed food.

8.About 66% are found in the skeleton, 16% in the liver , 8% in the kidneys and 10% in the other tissues.

Use of uranium:

1.The isotope 235 of uranium, present in very small quantities in natural uranium, is the radioactive isotope most used in the nuclear energy production sector.

2.It is also the key ingredient of the first atomic bomb used during a war,  Little Boy , dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

3.The military also use uranium in a form depleted of uranium 235 for its penetrating and incendiary power.

4.Historically, uranium has been used as a pigment in glassmaking for earthenware and ceramics .

5.Some chemical reactions use it as a catalyst.

6.The plutonium gives the Mox , another nuclear fuel.

Read more:

Facts about uranium?

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