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Uranium Enrichment

Physical process aimed at increasing the proportion of U-235 to U-238 in uranium above the natural 0.7%.

Uranium enrichment is practiced in two contexts:
  • Civil reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel in the reactor of a nuclear power station. Reactor-grade uranium is usually enriched to about 3.5% U-235.
  • Military nuclear weapons. Weapons-grade uranium is more than 90% U-235.