Uranium conversion and enrichment
Wilks Jeff, URENCO UK Limited, UK
Most nuclear power stations use fuel that has concentrations of the uranium-235 isotope that are higher than found in natural uranium. The process of increasing the concentration of uranium-235 above natural is called enrichment and this chapter describes the main enrichment technologies that are in use or have been investigated. The most important enrichment technologies utilise uranium hexafluoride as a feed material and so this chapter also summarises its properties, describes processes used to manufacture it and considers a number of important issues associated with its use.