Plutonium, Pu, is a dense silvery radioactive metallic transuranic
element, found in the actinide series of inner transition metals in
Group IIIa of the periodic table.
- Atomic Number : 94
- Relative Atomic Mass : 244 (most stable isotope)
- Melting Point : 641 degC
- Boiling Point : 3232 degC
- Relative density : 20
Plutonium and its compounds are radioactive and they are
also highly toxic. Extreme care is required when handling materials containg plutonium.
Plutonium was discovered by Seaborg, McMillan, Kennedy and Wahl in 1940AD.
- in trace quantities in Uranium ores, and
- is present in the spent fuel from nuclear reactors.
Plutonium is prepared in nuclear breeder reactors.
- silvery metal,
- is reactive and tarnished in air,
- is warm to the touch due to the heat evolved in
its radioactive decay, and
- readily dissolves in mineral acids.
Plutonium is used
- as a fuel in nuclear reactors, and
- in nuclear weapons.
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