Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
Home > Encyclopedia of Alternative Energy


A heavy, silvery-white, naturally radioactive, metallic element (atomic number 92). Its two principally occurring isotopes are uranium-235 and uranium-238. Uranium-235 is indispensable to the nuclear industry because it is the only isotope existing in nature to any appreciable extent that is fissionable by thermal neutrons. Uranium-238 is also important because it absorbs neutrons to produce a radioactive isotope that subsequently decays to plutonium-239, an isotope that also is fissionable by thermal neutrons.

Related category