# Is uranium a fossil fuel?

Oct 14, 2017

No

#### Explanation:

Fossil fuels are made of buried organic material. Examples of fossil fuels are coal, and oil. Coal is the result of buried plant material. Oil is thought to be the result of buried animal material.

Nuclear energy is made of radioactive materials not organic material. Uranium and other minerals produce energy due to natural radioactive decay.

Oct 24, 2017

No, just because you can dig something up that doesn't make it a fossil fuel!

#### Explanation:

You can dig up potatoes, but they're not fossil fuels either!

Fossil fuels are those formed millions of years ago by natural processes such as decomposition of plant and animal matter. So crude oil, natural gas and coal are all referred to as fossil fuels.

Uranium in fact is not "dug up" at all, it is uranium ore that is mined and subsequently converted into uranium oxide (${U}_{3} {O}_{8}$ or "yellow cake"). This is then refined into uranium.

Generating electricity by nuclear power is in a lot of ways no different to generating it in a conventional power station - it still revolves around generating steam which then powers turbine generators.

The difference is that conventional power stations use the burning of coal or oil to make the heat that boils the water, whilst nuclear power stations use the heat evolved in nuclear fission to boil the water. Once the steam has been produced there is no difference in principle to the subsequent electricity generation process.