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Science & Technology

Why is plutonium important?

Why plutonium

Plutonium is an extremely rare element in the earth’s crust. It is so rare that for many years it was thought that it did not occur naturally.

The  main source of plutonium is uranium-238, which is used in nuclear reactors. Large quantities are produced each year by this process plutonium was discovered by a team of scientist at the Berkeley radiation laboratory in California in 1940. They isolated plutonium-238 from a sample of uranium.

The discovery of plutonium was kept  secret until 1946 because of world war ll. The first production of plutonium was at the oak ridge national laboratory in Tennessee, and was used to make a nuclear bomb.

Plutonium is used in both nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons.

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