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ERIC Number: EJ832426
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Uranium to Electricity: The Chemistry of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Settle, Frank A.
Journal of Chemical Education, v86 n3 p316-323 Mar 2009
The nuclear fuel cycle consists of a series of industrial processes that produce fuel for the production of electricity in nuclear reactors, use the fuel to generate electricity, and subsequently manage the spent reactor fuel. While the physics and engineering of controlled fission are central to the generation of nuclear power, chemistry dominates all other aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle. An understanding of this chemistry is necessary to address the economic, environmental, safety, and proliferation issues that are essential to any substantive evaluation of nuclear power's contribution to the global energy portfolio. This article describes the role of chemistry in each component of the cycle from the metallurgy of uranium to the disposition of spent reactor fuel. It also addresses the economics of the components of the cycle and the costs of nuclear power relative to other sources of energy. (Contains 4 tables, 3 figures, and 11 notes.)
Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. Subscription Department, P.O. Box 1267, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-1267. Tel: 800-691-9846; Tel: 856-931-5825; Fax: 856-931-4115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A