Uranium

Found in the earth's crust in many regions of the world, uranium is a silvery metal, radioactive, dense, flammable, flexible and malleable. The most common and important uranium ore is the uranite. In its natural form, the ore has low radioactivity.

In 1789, the chemist Martin Klaproth identified the uranium, which got its name in honor of the newly discovered planet. Uranium is the heaviest among the natural elements and its symbol on the periodic scale is U. Uranium is found in the earth's crust, as a constituent of most rocks, since the formation of our planet, for more than four billion years.

Studies on uranium properties boosted the scientific research. In 1833, the luminescence phenomenon of uranium salts is described; in 1896, the scientist Henri Becquerel discovered that the ore emits radiation; in 1903, Pierre and Marie Curie received the Nobel Prize in physics for their discoveries about radioactivity. The great achievement for the development of nuclear energy was the discovery of the phenomenon of nuclear fission by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman in 1938.

From there, there were extensive research and in the following year, Enrico Fermi suggested that the neutrons resulting from fission could trigger a chain reaction, which was confirmed later by other researchers.

The Brazilian Constitution states that the energy of uranium can only be used in the country for peaceful purposes. Nuclear power has been widely used in various areas: energy production, medicine, environment, engineering, production of radiopharmaceuticals, agriculture, food conservation, sterilization of various materials and research.