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Exploration drives uranium resources up 17%

 
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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:30 pm    Post subject: Exploration drives uranium resources up 17% Reply with quote

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/ENF_Exploration_drives_uranium_resources_up_17_0206082.html

Quote:
Current economic uranium resources will last for over 100 years at current consumption rates, while it is expected there is twice that amount awaiting discovery. With reprocessing and recycling, the reserves are good for thousands of years.

Worldwide around 5.5 million tonnes of uranium that could be economically mined has been identified. The figure is up 17% compared to that from the last edition of the Red Book because of a surge in exploration for uranium prompted by a dramatic price increase.

In addition to these identified resources, the category of uranium that could be expected to be found based on the geologic characteristics of known resources has grown by 500,000 tonnes to 10.5 million tonnes.

The data comes from Uranium 2007: Resources, Production and Demand - often known as the Red Book - published every two years by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Red Book figures are for deposits which could be mined for less than $59/lb. This compares to the current market spot price of around $70/lb. Based on 2006 nuclear electricity generation data, the 5.5 million tonnes of known uranium would be enough to sustain nuclear power's current contribution in electricity for more than a century.

.........


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2 As and a B



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Based on 2006 nuclear electricity generation data, the 5.5 million tonnes of known uranium would be enough to sustain nuclear power's current contribution in electricity for more than a century.

What is nuclear power's current contribution in electricity?

On a purely electricity supply side argument, one would have to hope that no other countries increase their nuclear energy programme and/or that one has a secure supply of this uranium.

Likewise for the hypothetical total of 16 million tonnes of uranium.
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raspberry-blower



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know the exact world figures but here is a stab in the dark at the current situation in the UK.

According to DECC the total UK electricity production for 2008 was 385,560 GWh. Nuclear produced 52,486 GWh to that total - 13.6% of the total.

The contribution that nuclear has been contributing has been dwindling quite rapidly over the past couple of years or so - in 2006 nuclear produced a total of 75,451 GWh of electricity out of a grand total of 393,440 GWh - 19.2% of all electricity produced.

From 2006 - 2008 UK's nuclear production has fallen by 22,965 GWh - or 30.4% as leaks, power outages and general decrepitness of the UK's nuclear fleet takes its toll.

(Disclaimer: figures rounded up to one d.p.)
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 2007, the IAEA reported there were 439 nuclear power reactors in operation in the world operating in 31 countries (Wikipedia) and there are about 420 new ones planned. So, assuming the present ones are replaced that will double the fuel used. And then, if any others are built, we have at least halved the 100 years worth to fifty years so many of these reactors will run out of fuel before they die of old age.
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Quintus



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal wrote:
... so many of these reactors will run out of fuel before they die of old age.


'World Nuclear News' doesn't exactly sound like an impartial source, but they don't seem to anticipate a problem with the reserves available.

Quote:
With reprocessing and recycling, the reserves are good for thousands of years.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When some folk are suggesting existing plant will run out of fuel before end of life and others are suggesting "the reserves are good for thousands of years", then the problem isn't the science. There is a more fundamental disagreement.
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Cycloloco



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:33 am    Post subject: Re: Exploration drives uranium resources up 17% Reply with quote

Bandidoz wrote:
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/ENF_Exploration_drives_uranium_resources_up_17_0206082.html

Quote:
Current economic uranium resources will last for over 100 years at current consumption rates, while it is expected there is twice that amount awaiting discovery. With reprocessing and recycling, the reserves are good for thousands of years.
.........


Comments?


If you want to resolve he apparent contradiction between different reports I think you should look at the quote above and take it ALL into account. Nuclear power stations only use a small proportion of the fuel before the rods are removed for storage or reprocessing. It is the prospect of reprocessing the majority of unburnt fuel that means nuclear can run for thousands of years but at a price. It means building more reprocessing plants and handling highly active wastes and being extra careful with the plutonium. It means more risk of nuclear weapons and terrorism by "dirty bombs". That's why the USA has not reprocessed lately.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Zak Goldsmith said (approx) on Newsnight earlier, "If it's that good, why has the taxpayer had to subsidise every nuclear plant ever built?"
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fifthcolumn



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal wrote:
So, assuming the present ones are replaced that will double the fuel used. And then, if any others are built, we have at least halved the 100 years worth to fifty years so many of these reactors will run out of fuel before they die of old age.


If you take the original post as verbatim (as you appear to be doing) then you must use the real numbers ken.

Quote:
Current economic uranium resources will last for over 100 years at current consumption rates, while it is expected there is twice that amount awaiting discovery.{Not taking into account recycling}


So that gives us a starting point of 300 years supply.
Which is cut to 150 years if we double the number of reactors to increase the global percentage of nuclear.

If we double it again, that still gives us 75 years without recycling.

Also: there is something like ten times the amount of lower grade ore that will require harder work to process.

I don't think we need to worry about a shortage of nuclear fuel in our lifetime.
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Andy Hunt



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

raspberry-blower wrote:
Don't know the exact world figures but here is a stab in the dark at the current situation in the UK.

According to DECC the total UK electricity production for 2008 was 385,560 GWh. Nuclear produced 52,486 GWh to that total - 13.6% of the total.

The contribution that nuclear has been contributing has been dwindling quite rapidly over the past couple of years or so - in 2006 nuclear produced a total of 75,451 GWh of electricity out of a grand total of 393,440 GWh - 19.2% of all electricity produced.

From 2006 - 2008 UK's nuclear production has fallen by 22,965 GWh - or 30.4% as leaks, power outages and general decrepitness of the UK's nuclear fleet takes its toll.

(Disclaimer: figures rounded up to one d.p.)


Thanks RB, I was still under the impression that the UK gets around 25% of its electricity from nuclear.

Looks like we have fallen right in the lap of the world's remaining gas suppliers.
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