Collectors have long admired uranium and thorium minerals for their brilliant colors, intense ultraviolet fluorescence, and rich variety of habits and associates. Radioactive minerals are also critically important as our source of nuclear energy. Understanding them is crucial to the safe disposal of radioactive waste.
This book provides a systematic overview of the mineralogy of uranium and thorium, generously illustrated with nearly 200 color photos and electron micrographs of representative specimens. Includes an historical discussion of the discovery of radioactive elements and the development of uranium and thorium ore deposits, a discussion of the geochemical conditions that produce significant deposits, and a description of important localities, their geological setting and history.
Major occurrences of interest to mineral collectors are arranged geographically. The minerals are arranged systematically, to emphasize how they fit into chemical groups, and for each group a few minerals are selected to illustrate their formation and general characteristics.
With the resurgence of interest in nuclear power, this book is an invaluable guide for mineral collectors as well as nuclear scientists and engineers interested in radioactive deposits.
Robert Lauf holds a Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Illinois. His scientific career included over twenty years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he conducted research on nuclear fuel, coal by-products, materials synthesis, microwave processing, sensors, optical materials, and biomineralization. He lives in Tennesee