Tuesday, August 8, 2006

What is the Nuclear Fuel Cycle?


Uranium, as it is mined from the earth's crust, is not directly useable for power generation. Much processing must be carried out to concentrate the fissile isotope U-235 before uranium can be used efficiently to generate electricity.

More so than other energy resources such as coal, oil and natural gas, uranium has its own distinctive and very complicated fuel cycle. This is called the 'Nuclear Fuel Cycle'. There are several steps in the nuclear fuel cycle - mining and milling, conversion, enrichment, and fuel fabrication. These steps are known as the 'front end' of the cycle.


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