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Uranium Mining and Milling - doe-hdbk-1113-98_reaffirm_2005_040057
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Radiological Safety Trainign for Uranium Facilities
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Conversion - doe-hdbk-1113-98_reaffirm_2005_040059


DOE-HDBK-1113-98
Module 102 The Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Lesson Plan
Instructor's Notes
Yellowcake contains 70-90% by weight of
uranium oxides. The leftover mill tailings are a
concern because they still contain some of the
uranium ore . Additional hazards exist due to the
chemicals added. It is estimated that the uranium
milling in the United States left approximately
138 million tons of mill tailings covering about
3,000 acres of land.
c. The yellowcake slurry is then purified by either
ion exchange or solvent extraction.
d. Following purification, the yellowcake slurry is
dried, forming a concentrated yellowcake
compound that contains 75 98 percent
uranium. The yellow color is caused by the
addition of leaching chemicals and their eventual
removal during the drying step. The final color
can range from yellow to orange to black
depending on the chemicals used and the drying
temperature.
The final color is a good indicator of solubility,
and thus of biological effects if uranium in this
form is taken into the body. Less soluble
uranium compounds tend both to remain in the
body longer and to be darker in color. More
soluble uranium compounds are removed from
the body more quickly by normal body
functions, and tend to be lighter in color.
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