Uranium Enrichment 

     Natural Uranium contains a number of isotopes in different concentrations. The two primary isotopes of interest are U235 and U238 which have natural abundances of .72% and 99.275% by mass, respectively. For most reactors and nuclear applications, U235 is the primary fissile nuclide. Generally, the percentage of this isotope needs to be increased. This increase in the percentage of U235 is called enrichment. Typical methods for enrichment include: Gaseous diffusion, Centrifuge Separation, Electromagnetic separation, Aerodynamic processes, and Laser enrichment.


FAS Resources on Uranium Enrichment:

Overview of Uranium Production

Nuclear Forces Guide

All Spun Up: Tutorial On Gas Centrifuges' Role in Proliferation

Uranium Enrichment Countdown Calculator

Uranium SWU Calculator

Uranium Centrifuge Cascade Simulator (beta)

Additional Resources:

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Uranium Enrichment

ANL: Uranum Enrichment

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