Uranium is the last strategic resource in the game, discovered with the Atomic Theory technology. Its use comes in the Atomic Era - it allows you to build Atomic Bombs and Nuclear Missiles. Uranium also allows construction of the Nuclear Plant, a building which helps speed up city Production.
Finally, it allows you to build Giant Death Robots, which are the most powerful direct combat units in the game. So, you can choose to either guard your Uranium for military purposes, or construct Nuclear Plants to greatly improve Production in your cities if your civilization isn't particularly warlike.
Upon discovering Atomic Theory - and especially if you are the first to discover it - you should try to ensure that you and your allies control the majority of the Uranium on the map, as the ability to produce nuclear weapons has the potential to dramatically affect the game to the point of crippling entire civilizations. Likewise, if you have strained relations with AI leaders, you should either try to befriend them or deprive them of their Uranium before it can be used to make nuclear weapons.
City-states cannot complete the Manhattan Project, so those that have access to Uranium will never use it to make nuclear weapons. Other civilizations, however, can gain access to a city-state's Uranium by conquering it or becoming its ally.
Uranium is a radioactive natural mineral that, once processed and enriched, can be used to generate enormous energy or blow things up. Discovered in the 18th century, it wasn't until the 20th, during the terrible crucible of World War II, that American scientists learned how to craft the mildly dangerous material into the most deadly explosive that history has ever seen. When used to power nuclear generators, uranium is seen as a "clean" energy, since it doesn't release the huge amounts of air pollution created by coal or petroleum. On the other hand, used nuclear fuel is incredibly toxic and poisons land, air, water, and/or any living organisms that encounter it for hundreds of years, so this is a problem too. Remember that uranium is a strategic resource, and thus it is consumed as you construct the associated units and buildings.
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