Module 102 The Nuclear Fuel Cycle
· mining and millin g,
· waste disposal/storage, and
· decontaminat ion and decommiss ioning.
Uranium Mining and Milling
After removal from the mine, the uranium ore is
milled to extract the yellowcake. This involves the
The ore is crushed, ground, and mixed with
water to prep are for chemic al processi ng.
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 inc lude a slurry o f yellowcake
ready for additional processing and a
mixture of low-grade crushed rock and
sand called "mill tailings."
Only about 3 percent of the actual material
removed from the mine ends up as
yellowcake, which means that millions of
tons of mill tailings are leftover.