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Related to U-235: U-238
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Fed 100 kg of UF6 enriched up to 20% U-235 into the conversion process at the Fuel Plate Fabrication Plant (FPFP) for conversion into uranium oxide;
This is far less than the amount of U-235 needed for a bomb.
First, there was the widely held belief that supplies of U-235 would eventually become scarce.
The heavier U-238 isotopes are spun to the outside, while the lighter U-235 stays closer to the vertical axis, where it can be drawn off.
It's the U-235 atom that actually splits in two--that's fission, which releases heat and fission products.
After the discovery of the U-235 deficit and other isotopic clues in Oklo ore, other researchers deduced what combination of geophysical and biological processes could have created the reactor.
Probably the most inflammatory war-related environmental health issue is that of depleted uranium (DU), which is the remnant of uranium left after U-235 (the isotope used in nuclear power generation and bomb production) is largely removed.
The nuclear fuel used in most Russian submarines is enriched to contain 21-45 per cent uranium-235 (U-235); while 24 subs run on fuel enriched to 90 per cent U-235.
They discovered that the amount of U-235 needed was not, as they had thought, several tons but just a few pounds.
When U-235 (the isotope used to make bombs) is extracted from uranium ore, what remains is U-238, uranium that has been "depleted" of its powerfully radioactive component.
The kind of radiation given off by U-235 is alpha radiation," says Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility and a consultant on radiation health issues.
This distinction is important since U-235 is bombgrade material, and U-238 is what's left after enrichment of the raw uranium ore.