Where does uranium hexafluoride come from?
The gaseous diffusion process used to enrich uranium requires uranium in the form of UF6. In the first step of UF6 production, uranium ore is mined and sent to a mill where uranium oxide (often called "yellowcake") is produced. The uranium oxide is then sent to a UF6 production facility. At the production facility, the uranium oxide is combined with anhydrous HF and fluorine gas in a series of chemical reactions to form the chemical compound UF6. The product UF6 is placed into steel cylinders and shipped as a solid to a gaseous diffusion plant for enrichment.