Natural uranium is mostly nonfissionable 238U; it contains only about 0.7% of fissionable 235U. For uranium to be useful as a nuclear fuel, the relative amount of 235U must be increased to about 3%. This is accomplished through a gas diffusion process. In the diffusion process, natural uranium reacts with fluorine to form a mixture of 238UF6(g) and 235UF6(g). The fluoride mixture is then enriched through a multistage diffusion process to produce a 3% 235U nuclear fuel. The diffusion process utilizes Graham’s law of effusion (see Chapter 5, Section 5.7). Explain how Graham’s law of effusion allows natural uranium to be enriched by the gaseous diffusion process.

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