Abstract Estimation of impurities in reactor grade uranium is important from the point of view of neutron economy. For chemical separation, ion exchange and solvent extraction techniques have been employed although the latter is generally preferred. Amongst various extractants TBP (tri-n-butyl phosphate), TBP-TOPO (tri-n-octyl phosphine oxide), or TOPO only (in CCl 4, xylene, dodecane) is most often used. New reagents like Cyanex-923 (mixture of 4 tri-alkyl phosphine oxides)/TEHP (tri-ethylhexyl phosphoric acid) are also being used. This communication reports chemical separation of uranium by precipitation using 1,2-diaminocyclohexane NNN′N′-tetra acetic acid (CyDTA)/ammonium hydroxide in presence of 1,10-phenanthroline and estimation of impurities in the filtrate by ICP-AES. Quantitative separation of U, a high spectral interferent in plasma and recovery of impurities have been achieved. Recovery of Cd has been improved by using 1,10-phenanthroline. The method is accurate and precise, offering a relative standard deviation ranging from less than 4% (3.8% for Eu at the 10μg g −1 level) to 12.9% (for Ce at the 2.5 μg g −1 level) for all the elements studied.