Below is a great illustration depicting the nuclear fuel cycle components that Nuclear 101 have discussed: mining, milling, conversion, enrichment, reprocessing, and Waste disposal.
This whole process begin with uranium exploration and mining (read the Nuclear 101 post on mining here). Modern uranium exploration often uses airborne gamma-ray spectrometry to locate uranium deposits. Open pit mining is often used when ore bodies are not far from the surface. If the uranium ore is deep underground then underground mining methods can be used to construct tunnels up to 600 meters deep. In-situ recovery methods can be used when uranium exists in groundwater or soils such as sand and gravel. The World Nuclear Association declares uranium mining as a practice that must obtain environmental approvals, adhere to international standards and certifications, and must stringently follow all regulations. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), however, have a different opinion of uranium mining. According to the IPPNW, approximately three-quarters of all uranium is mined on territory that belongs to indigenous peoples, leaving them vulnerable to exposure from radioactive substances and from groundwater pollution that can have long-lasting effects.
In the United States a court battle continues over the use of land north of the Grand Canyon for mining. The U.S. Department of the Interior imposed a 20 year ban on any new uranium mining projects on 1 million acres of land for the purpose of protecting Native American cultural resources, water sources, and from other environmental effects. A coalition of mining industry groups is challenging this decision. Uranium has been the foundation for the development of nuclear energy. However, the practice is often faced with opposition from human rights and environmental groups over the existing or potential environmental and social effects.