Posted by **Amanda** on Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 7:41pm.

Uranium ore has two main isotopes, mostly U-238 with just a trace amount of U-235. In a sample of Uranium ore, 99.85% of the atoms are U-238 atoms and 0.15% are U-235 atoms.

Before the Uranium can be used in a nuclear power plant, the proportion of U-235 must be increased to 15% (thus reducing the proportion of U-238 to 85%). This is done by a process called gas diffusion. The ratio of the masses of these two isotopes is U-238 to U-235 = 1.013. Each cycle of the gas diffusion process decreases U-238 by 1.3%. How many cycles are required to reduce the U-238 to 85%?

- Calculus disaster -
**drwls**, Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 7:54pm
You want to go from 99.85% U-238 to 85%.

Each cycle of the process decreases the U-238 fraction by a ratio 1-0.013 = 0.987. Let the number of processing cycles required be N.

0.850/0.9985 = 0.8513 = 0.987^N

Solve for N.

N = Log0.8513/Log0.987 = 12.3

Call it 13, for a margin of safety

This is not a calculus problem. Precalc, maybe.

## Answer this Question

## Related Questions

- Chemistry - Uranium-235 can be separated from U -238 by fluorinating the uranium...
- AP Chem - Pretend you are a nuclear scientist and try to answer this bonus ...
- 11th grade AP Chemistry - Pretend you are a nuclear scientist and try to answer ...
- Chemistry - Uranium-235 can be separated from U-238 by fluorinating the uranium ...
- Chem 2 - The half-life for the radioactive decay of U-238 is 4.5 billion years ...
- health physics - Assuming that at the beginning of time (big bang; creation of ...
- Chemistry - If we ignore the small fraction of U-234, natural uranium has a ...
- Chemistry 1046 - Geologists can estimate the age of rocks by their uranium-238 ...
- Science - Uranium-238 is less stable than oxygen-16. What accounts for this ...
- Chemistry - Geologists can estimate the age of rocks by their uranium-238 ...