Skip navigation
Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal

Conversion plant

An installation for converting the chemical composition of nuclear material so as to facilitate its further use or processing, in particular to provide feed material for isotope separation and/or reactor fuel fabrication. To produce material for isotope separation, natural uranium ore concentrates or uranium oxides from reprocessing are converted into uranium hexafluoride (UF6). To produce material for fuel fabrication, the following conversions are carried out: U3O8 or UF6 to uranium dioxide (UO2); U or Pu nitrate to oxide; and U or Pu oxides to metal. Operations to convert UF6 to UO2 normally are performed in conversion sections of uranium fuel fabrication plants, while conversions of U or Pu nitrates to oxides normally are performed in conversion sections of reprocessing plants or in mixed oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication plants.