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Uranium-235 is the only naturally occurring fissile isotope, which makes it widely used in nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons.
However, because of the tiny amounts found in nature, uranium needs to undergo enrichment so that enough uranium-235 is present.
A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons.
Uranium is weakly radioactive because all isotopes of uranium are unstable, with half-lives varying between 159,200 years and 4.5 billion years.
Uranium-238 has a small probability for spontaneous fission or even induced fission with fast neutrons; uranium-235 and to a lesser degree uranium-233 have a much higher fission cross-section for slow neutrons.
It was also used for tinting and shading in early photography.
It is malleable, ductile, slightly paramagnetic, strongly electropositive and a poor electrical conductor.
Uranium in ores is extracted chemically and converted into uranium dioxide or other chemical forms usable in industry.
This generates the heat in nuclear power reactors, and produces the fissile material for nuclear weapons.
Depleted uranium ( Uranium is used as a colorant in uranium glass, producing lemon yellow to green colors.