Uranium (CAS 7440-61-1) is a natural and commonly occurring radioactive element. It is found in very small amounts in nature in the form of minerals. Rocks, soil, surface and ground water all contain varying amounts of uranium.
Uranium is primarily used in nuclear power plants. After removal of the enriched fraction, it is referred to as depleted uranium that is used for the following:
- counterweights or ballast in aircraft
- radiation shields in medical equipment
- containers for the transportation of radioactive materials
- munitions designed to penetrate armour plate and reinforce military vehicles, such as tanks
- nuclear weapons
- photography toning
- stains and dyes in the leather, silk and wood industry
- manufacture of phosphate fertilizers
Exposure to uranium may also occur in mining, milling and processing.
This guide provides information for those registered medical practitioners engaged by a PCBU to carry out or supervise health monitoring for workers. This guidance should be read in conjunction with the following: