Top Radioactive Minerals

What Are Radioactive Minerals?

Radioactivity in minerals are caused by the inclusion of naturally-occurring radioactive elements in the mineral’s composition. The degree of radioactivity is dependent on the concentration and isotope present in the mineral. For the most part, minerals that contain potassium (K), uranium (U), and thorium (Th) are radioactive.

There are four main radioactive isotopes that have lasted as long as the Earth:

  1. Uranium-239 (over 99% of all uranium) with a half-life of 4.5 billion years
  2. Uranium-235 (less than 1% of all uranium) with a half-life of 700 million years
  3. Thorium-232 (100% of Thorium) with a half-life of 14 billion years
  4. Potassium-40 (0.01% of all potassium) with a half-life of 1.28 billion years.

Top Radioactive Minerals

Minerals containing Thorium:

  • THORITE (Thorium Uranium Silicate)
  • THOROGUMMITE (Thorium Uranium Silicate Hydroxide)
  • MONAZITE (Cerium Lanthanum Thorium Neodymium Yttrium Phosphate)

Minerals containing Uranium:

  • URANINITE (Uranium Oxide)
  • AUTUNITE (Hydrated Calcium Uranyl Phosphate)
  • URANOPILITE (Hydrated Uranyl Sulfate Hydroxide)
  • ANDERSONITE (Hydrated Sodium Calcium Uranyl Carbonate)
  • BETAFITE (Calcium Sodium Uranium Titanium Niobium Tantalum Oxide Hydroxide Fluoride)
  • CARNOTITE (Hydrated Potassium Uranyl Vanadate)
  • COCONINOITE (Hydrated Iron Aluminum Uranyl Phosphate Sulfate Hydroxide)
  • META-ANKOLEITE (Hydrated Potassium Uranyl Phosphate)
  • META-AUTUNITE (Hydrated Calcium Uranyl Phosphate)
  • META-TORBERNITE (Hydrated Copper Uranyl Phosphate)
  • META-URANOCIRCITE (Hydrated Barium Uranyl Phosphate)
  • META-ZEUNERITE (Hydrated Copper Uranyl Arsenate)
  • PHOSPHURANYLITE (Hydrated Calcium Uranyl Phosphate Hydroxide)
  • TORBERNITE (Hydrated Copper Uranyl Phosphate)
  • TYUYAMUNITE (Hydrated Calcium Uranyl Vanadate)
  • URANOCIRCITE (Hydrated Barium Uranyl Phosphate)
  • WALPURGITE (Hydrated Bismuth Uranyl Arsenate Oxide)
  • ZEUNERITE (Hydrated Copper Uranyl Arsenate)
  • BOLTWOODITE (Hydrated Potassium Uranyl Silicate Hydroxide)
  • CUPROSKLODOWSKITE (Hydrated Copper Uranyl Silicate)
  • SKLODOWSKITE (Hydrated Magnesium Uranyl Silicate)
  • URANOPHANE (Hydrated Calcium Uranyl Silicate)
  • CLIFFORDITE (Uranium Tellurite)
  • MOCTEZUMITE (Lead Uranyl Tellurite)
  • SCHMITTERITE (Uranyl Tellurite)
  • ZIPPEITE (Hydrated Potassium Uranyl Sulfate Hydroxide)

 

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