Production of Enriched Uranium

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Production of Enriched Uranium

Recently Iran has produced enriched uranium 20% more than the quantity mentioned in the Monitor’s report.

  • It is noteworthy that under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran was prohibited from producing more than 3.67% enriched uranium, except for research reactor activities.
  • The JCPOA was signed by Iran and the P 5+1 countries (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States). In the year 2018, the United States withdrew from this agreement. It is known that more than 90% enriched uranium can be used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

About Uranium (U)

  • It is a naturally occurring radioactive element. Naturally, 99.27 percent of uranium is found in the form of U-238 while the rest is found in other isotopes such as U-235 (0.72%) and U-234 (0.006%), etc.
  • Uranium is found in very small amounts in all rocks and soil, in water and air, and in substances made from natural elements. It is a reactive metal and therefore does not exist in the atmosphere as free uranium.

Uranium enrichment is the process of increasing the percentage of U-235 in natural uranium to the following different enrichment levels to make it an effective nuclear fuel:

  • Low Enriched Uranium: 5% less enriched than the level of U235. It is commonly used as a fuel in nuclear reactors.
  • Highly Enriched Uranium: Enriched to 20% or more above the level of U-235. It is commonly used in nuclear research, naval propulsion, etc.
  • Weapon Grade: Enhanced 90% or more from level U-235.

Source – The Hindu

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