HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
Uranium on the Cranium: The Uranium Mining Quiz
by Staff
Uranium -- the stuff of futuristic energy and atomic weapons. Mining for this valuable element is anything but dull. Think you know how uranium mining works? Take this quiz to find out.

Say you want to launch an exploration for uranium. The tools you'll use will likely rely on this characteristic of uranium.

  • color
  • radioactivity
  • weight

The booms and busts of uranium mining fluctuated based on economic and political factors. Which of the following events left the deepest impression on the field?

  • the Iraq War in the early to mid-2000s
  • the oil crisis of the 1970s
  • the arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States, beginning in the 1950s

What are the two most popular ways to mine for uranium?

  • in-situ recovery and open-pit mining
  • open-pit mining and closed-pit mining
  • underground mining and aerial mining

What's the name of towns that popped up because of uranium mining?

  • nucla-tropolises
  • yellowcake towns
  • uranium clouds

You can find uranium everywhere -- even in seawater. But why isn't uranium mined from the ocean?

  • because it's impossible to separate uranium from water
  • because the concentrations of uranium in seawater occur at too low of concentrations to be economically viable
  • because of regulations surrounding owning coastal waters

Why was uranium first coveted?

  • for its ability to cure cancer
  • for its taste
  • for its colorful properties as a glaze

True or false: Uranium miners are not paid well.

  • True: They make the lowest salaries in comparison to other professions.
  • True: They only make money by doing more risky jobs.
  • False: They are paid well relative to other professions.

Which of the following countries is NOT among the world's top uranium producers?

  • China
  • Canada
  • Australia

Besides mining, what's another realistic way to obtain uranium for nuclear fuel?

  • create it from other elements
  • take it from Soviet warheads
  • Sorry, there's no other way to get uranium.

Which time period saw the largest spike in uranium mining?

  • the 1980s
  • the 1960s
  • the 1950s

As of 2009, global uranium demand was:

  • on the rise
  • on the decline
  • staying the same

Uranium miners still come into contact with radioactive material while on the job. What can they do to prevent bringing radioactive material into their homes and neighborhoods?

  • keep work clothes at the mine
  • don't bring home any materials from the site
  • both of the above

In order to use uranium as nuclear fuel (or even in a weapon), what process does the element need to undergo?

  • dilution
  • enrichment
  • implosion

What treaty do countries have to be a part of to purchase uranium?

  • the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty
  • the Non-Nuke Treaty
  • the Uranium in the Cranium Treaty

How does uranium mining lead to food preservation?

  • It's a mystery.
  • Uranium is used to make radioisotopes, which can prevent plants from sprouting and can keep pests at bay.
  • There's no way uranium can be used anywhere near food!

What's the most common health hazard associated with uranium mining?

  • fatigue
  • uranium radioactivity
  • radon gas

What color is the element uranium?

  • reddish-pink
  • black
  • silvery-white

What's the difference between remediating and reclaiming a mining site?

  • Remediating involves removing waste, while reclaiming focuses on restoring an area back to its natural state.
  • Remediating depends on meditation, while reclaiming focuses on who claims rights over a site.
  • The two mean the same thing.

Which of these elements is commonly found with uranium?

  • radium
  • nickel
  • gold

Which of the following communities has historically been affected by uranium mining?

  • Navajo Native American groups
  • Mormons
  • Both answers are correct.