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Uranium- All common questions about uranium

To be clear, there are two units of energy that are easily confused, a calorie and a calorie, also called a kilocalorie. A kilocalorie is 1,000 calories. A dietary calorie is a kilocalorie.

Natural uranium is mainly of two isotopes: 99.3% uranium-238 and 0.7% uranium-235th

Uraniums-238 undegoes alpha decay with an energy of 4.267 MeV. So if we let one gram of uranium-238 undergoes alpha decay it will produce (413,000 kilocalories) 1.73 gigajoules or 413 million calories. This is much less than 20 billion calories. Uranium-235 alpha decay has an energy of 4.679 MeV it is that does not get much closer to 20 billion. In addition, both isotopes have very long half-lives, so that the energy release is very slow.

But there is another way to release energy: nuclear fission. Uranium-235 fission can be subjected to both uranium-238 and, but between the two, only uranium-235 is fissile, meaning there is a split chain reaction can support. The fission of uranium-235 Publications 202.5 MeV. The cleavage of one gram of uranium-235 will release 83.1 GJ or 20 billion calories (20 million kcal).

But a reaction fission chain you need at least a critical mass of uranium-235, which is a bit more than a gram.

So, it is misleading to say that one gram of uranium is 20 billion calories for a few reasons. First, the number of calories, rather than the more commonly used calories. Second, the complete cleavage takes one gram of uranium 235th An ordinary piece of uranium does not go. It is also a bad comparison for dietary calories as our bodies have no way of nuclear energy use in our metabolism.

The uranium would react with the acid in the stomach and you would probably get heavy metal poisoning. A calorie is only one unit of energy, regardless of the shape, absorbs the energy. It does not mean that energy used by the human body. The energy in uranium would not comment on the calories you are consuming in your diet.

If we (= 1,000 calories 1 calorie = 1 kilocalorie) in the diet talk about calories, we refer to chemical energy in a small group of organic compounds stored, mostly fats and carbohydrates that human metabolism can be used.

1 gram of uraniums-235 will release about 20 billion calories (20 million calories) when the total mass of nuclear fission experiences. But one gram is well below the critical mass of U-235, and there is no mechanism in the human body to induce a cleavage reaction, so all that energy would remain saved the cores of these uranium atom. If a response has somehow get started, the energy released as heat, gamma and neutron radiation would, anything that your metabolism could use. And the radiation emitted by a cleavage reaction, especially the neutron radiation can be quite deadly.

There are chemical and nuclear energy in all types of materials around us saved, but very little of it stored in a way that we can metabolize. The plastic of the keyboard I’m giving this answer contains chemical energy, which could be measured in calories, but I can not digest or metabolize plastic. So the calories do not count on my diet when I decided to eat my computer. The hydrogen in a cup of water when fused into helium release, would be about 2 trillion calories (2 billion calories), but since our body does not fusion reactors, the energy does not count for anything if we drink water.

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