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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Chemistry, Physics

Resource Type

  • Videos, 5 minutes, 50 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

How Uranium Becomes Nuclear Fuel

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  • This video explains how raw uranium can be turned into nuclear fuel, using a centrifuge and a series of chemical reactions. 
  • Students will learn that the process of refining uranium for fuel requires a great of amount skill and precision. 
Teaching Tips


  • The video uses simple illustrations that will help visual learners to understand some of the more complicated concepts.
  • Students will learn the difference between uranium that is used for fuel and uranium that is used for nuclear weapons.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This video was produced in 2015, so references to the nuclear reactors being built in Iran are not up to date.
  • The video does not explain how nuclear power plants work. Students who are interested in the topic can watch this video.


  • Social studies and geography classes could learn more about which countries use nuclear energy using this interactive map. Students could discuss why some countries rely heavily on nuclear energy, while others do not.
  • Chemistry classes could have students make a comprehensive list of the chemical reactions listed in the video. Students could work in groups to discuss the different reactions and what role they play in preparing the uranium so that it can be used as fuel.
  • Other resources on this topic include this interactive map that provides information on uranium resources and uranium production in the United States and this ClimateScience course on clean energy.
Scientist Notes
The video is compelling. It spotlights how uranium, a raw material for nuclear energy, is exploited and processed so that it generates electricity. This is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • PS1: Matter and Its Interactions
      • HS-PS1-1. Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
      • HS-PS1-2. Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
      • HS-PS1-8. Develop models to illustrate the changes in the composition of the nucleus of the atom and the energy released during the processes of fission, fusion, and radioactive decay.
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