Symbol: Pu

Atomic Number: 94

Atomic Weight: (244)

Plutonium (number 94, symbol Pu) is a radioactive element that is artificially produced and is present in some uranium ores. Its processing is difficult because of the presence of many allotropes. Plutonium enters the environment through release from weapon production facilities, nuclear reactors, and research laboratories. It is also accidentally released during the disposal of radioactive waste, transportation, and use. The release of plutonium in the environment results in soil and water contamination. Low concentrations are also absorbed by plants.

The element was discovered by Edward McMillan, Joseph Kennedy, and Glenn Seaborg in 1941. They used deuterons, which are nuclei...Read More