A powering mineral – Uraninite

What does it look like?

The light blue elements are uranium and the red are oxygen.  Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructual analysis) software http://jp-minerals.org/vesta/en/

The light blue elements are uranium and the red are oxygen. Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructual analysis) software http://jp-minerals.org/vesta/en/

What is it?

Australia is the world’s third largest producer of Uranium ore, but as a country as a whole it actually holds the largest reserves of this element.  Most uranium lives in the ground as uraninite, which is often known as pitchblende.  Uranite is, in fact uranium oxide UO2, but the mineral can often be more oxidised and have domains of U3O8.

Where did the structure come from?

Uraninite is #9009049 in the crystallography open database.

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