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Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal
  

Milling

Uranium ore contains only a small fraction of uranium (typically between 0.1-2%). This material is then concentrated through a process called milling. Uranium milling involves the modification of the physical and chemical form of the uranium ore to produce a pure, concentrated product that can be sold on the open market. This is essentially a large scale industrial process consisting of crushing and grinding, dissolution, solvent extraction, precipitation, and centrifugation. Mills are often co-located with uranium mines. Pictures of some typical uranium mill equipment and processes are shown in Figure 7. The product from the mill is uranium in the form of U3O8 (or yellowcake). U3O8 is a very stable chemical form of uranium.


Figure 7. Typical uranium milling equipment and processes

Figure 7. Typical uranium milling equipment and processes

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