Thursday, July 17, 2008

Billions of Tons of Uranium Inside the Earth

One cubic centimeter of uranium is equivalent to 60,000 liters of gasoline, 110-160 tons of coal, or almost 60,000 cubic meters of natural gas. __EnergyDaily
Uranium is an energy-dense material. Russia is producing more Uranium lately, thanks to discoveries in Eastern Siberia. The best estimates place billions of tons of Uranium ore within the Earth, more of that becoming available with advanced technologies.
In 2006, Russia launched cooperation with Kazakhstan. It owns 49% of shares in the Zarechnoye Joint Venture (JV), which is in charge of a 19,000-ton uranium deposit. Last year, Russia signed a bilateral agreement with Australia, which will supply it with one million dollars worth of uranium for civilian purposes every year.

Also last year, Russia set up joint ventures with Canada's Cameco Corporation to undertake uranium prospecting and extraction in both countries. Potential for uranium production has also been assessed in Armenia; and Russia and Armenia have signed an agreement on uranium prospecting and production.

Mongolia may also occupy a major place in the global nuclear industry. In theory, its uranium resources are the biggest in the world, and it only remains to explore and produce them. __ED
Long before the world runs out of Uranium, a large number of other energy technologies will be ready to fill the gap. The Thorium reactor cycle, for example, should be even safer and provide much more fuel, than the Uranium cycle.

The problem with modern governments is that they do not plan for the future. They merely react to emergencies as they arise. A society such as the US--super-saturated with trial lawyers--has the worst of both worlds. A government that severely limits the approaches the energy industry can pursue, and a litigation industry that punishes any possible choice that is made. Add to that an environmental lobby that is opposed to all forms of energy, and a news media staffed by the least intelligent of all humans, and the challenges appear in starkest relief.

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