Membrane extraction, combining the processes of extraction, scrubbing and stripping in a single step, demonstrates the inherent capability of solvent extraction under non-equilibrium conditions. Permeant transport across various liquid membrane (LM) configurations, viz. bulk liquid, emulsion liquid and supported liquid membranes has great potential for applications in the nuclear field particularly in the decontamination of low and medium level radioactive wastes. Potential practical applications of such membranes have also been envisaged in the recovery of metals from hydrometallurgical leach solutions and in plutonium and americium removal from nitric acid waste streams generated by plutonium recovery operations in the PUREX process. Studies carried out have established that minor actinides like uranium, plutonium and americium from process effluents can easily be transported across polymeric and liquid type membranes through the use of specific ionophores dissolved in an appropriate liquid membrane phase. The possibility of the membrane extraction of fission palladium from acidic wastes has also been demonstrated by the use of some soft bases. An overview of these results and also some of the recent radiochemical applications of energy - efficient LM processes including directions for future research are outlined in this paper. (author). 19 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.