Collectors have long admired uranium and thorium minerals for their brilliant colors, frequently intense ultraviolet fluorescence, and rich variety of habits and associates. Radioactive minerals are also critically important to modern society as our source of nuclear energy, and understanding of them is crucial to safe disposal of radioactive waste. Introduction to Radioactive Minerals provides a systematic overview of the mineralogy of uranium and thorium, generously illustrated with nearly 200 color photographs and electron microscope micrographs of representative specimens from the author's extensive research collection. It begins with a brief historical discussion of the discovery of radioactive elements and the development of uranium and thorium ore deposits. Next, the geochemical conditions that produce significant increases of primary and secondary minerals are discussed, so that when important localities are described, imparting the reader with a fuller understanding of their geological setting and history. Major occurrences of interest to mineral collectors are then arranged geographically. The minerals are arranged systematically, to emphasize how the minerals 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 will be invaluable to mineral collectors as well as nuclear scientists and engineers interested in radioactive deposits. A Word About Safe Handling prefaces the book. Chapters include: Chapter 1: Introduction - Discovery and Exploitation of Uranium and Thorium, Worldwide Economic Reserves; Chapter 2: Formation and Characteristics of Radioactive Deposits - Geochemistry of Uranium and Thorium, Classification of Radioactive Mineral Deposits, Provinces and Epochs; Chapter 3: Important Mineral Localities - North America: United States, Canada, Mexico, South America: Brazil, Europe: England, Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia and Central Asia: Russia, Former Soviet Republics, East Asia and Australia: Sri Lanka, Australia, Africa: Congo, Gabon, Namibia, Madagascar; Chapter 4: The Minerals - Primary Minerals: Oxides, Silicates, Secondary Minerals: Hydrated Oxides, Carbonates, Sulfates, Selenites, Tellurites, and Arsenates, Molybdates and Tungstates, Phosphates and Arsenates, Vanadates, Silicates, Other Minerals containing Essential U or Th, Minerals frequently containing U or Th as Impurities. An extensive bibliography includes Suggested Core Library for Further Reading and References Cited. A Checklist of Radioactive Minerals is provided in an appendix. Indexes include an Index of Mineral Names and an Index of Mineral Localities.
Introduction to Radioactive Minerals