A ratio derivative spectrophotometric method has been developed for the simultaneous determination of uranium and plutonium at mg levels in 1M HNO3 medium. In this method the overlapping spectra of uranium and plutonium are well resolved by making use of the first derivative of the ratios of their direct absorption spectra. The derivative ratio absorbances of uranium and plutonium are measured at 411.2 and 473.8 nm, respectively for their quantification. The method is simple, fast and does not require separation of uranium and plutonium. Another salient feature of the method is that it does not lead to generation of analytical waste thereby minimising the efforts required for the recovery of plutonium. Uranium in the conc. range of 10–25 mg/g and plutonium in the conc. range of 0.5 to 2 mg/g (U/Pu ratio varying from about 10 to 25) were determined in the same aliquot with a precision and accuracy of about 0.5% and 1%, respectively.