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Yellowcake

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Overview


Yellowcake, not for eating, is a uranium concentrate powder obtained through the milling and chemical processing of uranium ore forming a coarse powder which has a pungent odor, is insoluble in water and contains about 80% uranium oxide. It is an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores. The raw ore is first crushed to a fine powder then mixed with a concentrated acid solution to leach out the uranium. Yellowcake is sold on the uranium market as U3O8. Yellowcake is used in the preparation of uranium fuel for nuclear reactors, for which it is smelted into purified UO2 for use in fuel rods for pressurized heavy-water reactors and other systems that use natural unenriched uranium. Much of the yellowcake product is then transported to a uranium conversion facility, where it is transformed into uranium hexafluoride (UF6), in preparation for fabricating fuel for nuclear reactors.

Painting from POTW


Yellow cake painting from Particles on the Wall

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