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Sources of Uranium - doe-hdbk-1113-98_reaffirm_2005_040122
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Radiological Safety Trainign for Uranium Facilities
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Uranium Mining and Milling cont'd - doe-hdbk-1113-98_reaffirm_2005_040124


DOE-HDBK-1113-98
Radiological Safety Training for Uranium Facilities
Module 102 The Nuclear Fuel Cycle
100m, depths) or underground mines (greater than 300-foot depths). The typical
uranium content of the ore is 0.15 - 0.3 percent and is in the form of U3O8, which is
called "yellowcake." Uranium is also found in secondary minerals in the following
forms: complex oxides, silicates, phosphates, and vanadates.
D.
Uranium Operations and Processes
Uranium processing is dependent upon the desired product, but it generally involves
the following cycle:
mining and milling,
conversion,
enrichment,
fabrication,
use,
waste disposal/storage, and
decontamination and decommissioning.
1. Uranium Mining and Milling
After removal from the mine, the uranium ore is milled to extract the
yellowcake. This involves the following process:
a.
The ore is crushed, ground, and mixed with water to prepare for chemical
processing.
b.
The crushed ore and water mixture is mixed with chemicals to separate the
yellowcake from the ore. This separation process is called "leaching." The
resultant products include a slurry of yellowcake ready for additional
13


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