Where is uranium located and how do you recover it?
Uranium is located in the earth crust; it is recovered by mining and chemical processing.
Enriched uranium is uranium that has had its U-235 isotope content elevated above what it would be when we refine natural uranium after recovering the metal from ore. We know that U-235 is the desired fissionable isotope of uranium, but it is the isotope U-238 that is present in over 99% of all the naturally occurring uranium we mine and recover. We have to put the uranium through a process to separate the U-235 from…
Uranium is present in low concentrations in some Illinois coal seams. It is essentially a trace mineral, and is more of a hazard than a mineral that occurs in a way that makes recovery cost effective. Uranium mining is a volume intensive operation, but world prices have never been high enough to even consider attempting to recover uranium from any sites in Illinois.