Firudin Abbasi: New “yellowcake” production facility to open in Iran in a couple of months

Posted on February 20, 2012


Iran will open new facility for “yellowcake” production next year (begins on March 21), Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Firudin Abbasi said at the official ceremony in Tehran, during which, country’s new achievements in nuclear sphere were announced.

Yellowcake (also called urania) is a kind of uranium concentrate powder obtained from leach solutions, in an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores. Yellowcake concentrates are prepared by various extraction and refining methods, depending on the types of ores.

Typically, yellowcakes are 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, which melts at approximately 2878 °C. Although uranium is one of the densest metals on Earth, yellowcake is relatively light, with a density approximately that of elemental sulfur.

Abbasi noted that the facility for yellowcake production is ready, and will be commissioned next year. “New Uranium fuel complexes will become operational soon”, Abbasi said.

Speaking earlier about country’s nuclear achievements, Abbasi said that the three new achievements of country’s nuclear program are: the increased number of centrifuges, production of new IR-4 generation centrifuges and successful loading of domestically-made fuel rods into the nuclear reactor.