How much Uranium is there?

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Readers will know that I strongly believe that we need to push for more Nuclear power generation and that if we can get over 80% of our baseload coming from Nuclear, our petroleum costs will be a thing of the past. That and the problems associated with the widespread burning of Coal will go away. A standard rebuttal to this argument is the "fact" that we have only "X" years of Nuclear Fuel available to us. I have seen "X" as low as five years which is downright laughable... Well, bw writing at Next Big Future comes up with a different value for "X" How about Five Billion Years:
How long can Uranium last for nuclear power ? 5 billion years at double current world electricity usage.
Breeder reactors: A renewable energy source by Bernard L. Cohen, American Journal of Physics, 1983 (H/T Crowlspace) Uranium can last for 5 billion years with a withdrawal rate of 6,500 tonne per year from the oceans [with breeder reactors this would be double current world electricity usage]. This estimate does not include using Thorium which is more common in the earth's crust than Uranium.

A 600MW breeder reactor has been working in Russia since the 1980s and an 800MW version will be completed in about 2012.

Excellent molten salt reactor designs are ready to be built. Molten salt reactors were built and operated for a few years in the sixties and seventies in the USA
bw then looks at extracting Uranium from Seawater -- the Japanese are doing this and getting fissionable Uranium for about $100 to $800/pound and at $400/pound, One Million BTUs worth of energy would cost 1.1 Cents worth of fuel. We need this NOW people -- start writing your representatives!

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on August 17, 2008 7:54 PM.

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