SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nuclear fuel production. Machinery being used in the production of nuclear fuel from uranium hexafluoride at a nuclear isotope separation plant in Russia. Uranium hexafluoride is used in the enrichment process to produce the desired isotope of uranium, either by gas diffusion or the gas centrifuge method. The resulting uranium is richer in the radioactive uranium isotope U-235 than the more common isotope U-238. It is the U-235 isotope that is used in nuclear reactors to maintain a nuclear chain reaction and generate energy. This is the Siberian chemical integrated works in the Tomsk region of Siberia, Russia. Photographed in 2003.
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