Uranium is a silvery-white element
possessing a very radioactive and oxidizing
character. Uranium retains a density of 19.07
grams per cubic centimeter and a melting point of
roughly 1,132 degrees centigrade. With a boiling
point of approximately 3,818 degrees Celsius
uranium is not an easy element to get to a melting
or boiling point. The Periodic Table says that
uranium has 92 protons and 146 neutrons thereby
acquiring a atomic weight of 238 atomic mass
units. Uranium burns readily in air at 150 to 175
degrees centigrade and at 1,000 degrees Celsius
uranium combines with nitrogen to form a yellow
nitride. Uranium is found in such ores as
pitchblende and carnotite. In the crust of the Earth
uranium is found at about 2 parts per million. In
order words, for every half million tons of nature
one digs up, they can expect to find one ton of
uranium, not an abundant is found. To mine this
element, miners will break up and mix pitchblende
with sulfuric and nitric acids. This then breaks the
uranium into uranyl sulfate and with the addition of
heat, uranium is then precipitated as sodium
diuranate and collected. Humans today use
uranium to produce nuclear weapons and nuclear
reactors. While producing electrical energy, power
plants consume close to 40 million tons of coal per
month, while the same output could be obtained
by using only 15 pounds of uranium per month.