PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Uranium ore processing factory. Here, the uranium ore, which has been mined from underground deposits, is crushed and dissolved in strong acid or alkaline solutions. It is then precipitated to produce uranium concentrates known as yellowcakes. These contain up to 60 percent uranium. The uranium is then later (at a different site) enriched to increase the concentration of the radioactive isotope U-235. It is this isotope that is used in nuclear power stations to create a controlled nuclear fission reaction. This is the Comurhex factory in Malvesi, France. Photographed in 2004.
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