The nuclear fuel cycle is a series of industrial processes which involve the production of electricity from uranium in nuclear power reactors.
Uranium must be processed before it can be used as fuel for a nuclear reactor. After fuel has reached the end of its useful life and removed from a reactor, it can be reprocessed to produce new fuel.
The cycle starts with the mining of uranium and ends with the disposal of nuclear waste.
To prepare uranium for use in a nuclear reactor, it undergoes the steps of mining and milling, conversion, enrichment and fuel fabrication – the 'front end' of the nuclear fuel cycle.
After uranium has spent about three years in a reactor to produce electricity, the used fuel may undergo a further series of steps including temporary storage, reprocessing, and recycling before wastes are disposed – the 'back end' of the fuel cycle.
Further information on the various steps of the nuclear fuel cycle can be found here.