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Peak Uranium
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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Location: south east England

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:58 pm    Post subject: Peak Uranium Reply with quote

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article27549.html

Quote:


In brief, Dittmar argues that the most worrying problem is the belief that uranium is plentiful. It is in fact quite a rare mineral, with a crustal abundance about 4 parts per million, ranking it far less abundant than many minerals and metals we consume in large quantities. The world’s 440-odd nuclear plants (Japan having lost several, making it difficult to give an exact number in operation) ate through about 68,000 tons of uranium in 2010, but uranium mining industry supplied only 55,000 tons. The rest came from secondary sources including mining stocks, reactor building company stocks, reprocessed “spent” fuel, recycled atomic warheads, and military uranium sources, among others.

As Dittmar says:

“....without access to military stocks, the civilian western uranium stocks will be exhausted by 2013”, writing before the late 2010 agreement by Obama and Medvedev to further extend the “Megatons to Megawatts” programme.

Dismantling mainly Russian surplus atomic warheads will therefore continue, but with considerable and calculated lack of clarity on how long bomb stocks and security considerations will allow this, and the exact tonnages that will be made available.
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RGR
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy

Last edited by RGR on Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given that all this infoemation is defence-related, how can we ever know the truth of it? One could, with some justification, exclaim "horse-manure" to any pisited "fact" on either side.

Do we really want an energy future that relies on such, erm, unreliable information?

And what if Medvedev suddenly changes his mind?
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RGR
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="RenewableCandy"]

Last edited by RGR on Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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Kentucky Fried Panda



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RGR wrote:

These people who confuse the size of the resources available to humankind with only the part they are comfortable with should be taken out back and educated, American style.


How many of your lot leave high school illiterate?

Or would you just waterboard people until they agree?
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lancasterlad



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can argue over the figures all you want. The fact is, the people I talk to in the nuclear industry are very concerned about uranium supply.
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mobbsey



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RGR wrote:
Horse manure.


Certainly that's more usefully productive than uranium.

RGR wrote:
These people who confuse the size of the resources available to humankind with only the part they are comfortable with should be taken out back and educated, American style.


People who confuse the existence of a mineral deposit with the possibility of the said deposit to produce a positive energy return should be put to work in the washing and mangling section of a recycled toilet paper factory.
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RGR
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Doomsday"]

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RGR
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="mobbsey"]

Last edited by RGR on Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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mobbsey



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RGR wrote:
Fortunately, peaker eroei hallucinations don't apply to people who estimate these types of resources.


You see, there you go again. You obviously don't "get it" Rolling Eyes

This has nothing to do with the identified "resource", it's whether or not when that resource is extracted you get a significant enough positive energy return on the operations involved. Uranium isn't like gold, where an free floating price can reinforce the exclusivity of possession as it becomes rare. Energy resources have to work within the field of existing energy resources, as well as the capacity of the economy to sustain the prices they demand. Consequently if it becomes too expensive due to the ancillary processing involved, in either financial or EROEI terms, it will drag on the productivity of the economic process.

What next, extracting 4 billion tonnes of uranium from sea water? Or are you seriously saying that we should put all power station fuel ash under lock and key because terrorists might extract uranium from it?

Now come on!, I want you hand washing at the toilet roll recycling plant by morning! Laughing
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's go round this again . . .

The link to the abundance of uranium in shales (RGR) brings up this interesting, succinct page of precious horse manure:

http://nuclearinfo.net/Nuclearpower/UraniuamDistribution

The single page ends with this depressing paragraph:

The total abundance of Uranium in the Earth's crust is estimated to be approximately 40 trillian tonnes. The Rossing mine in Nambia mines Uranium at an Ore concentration of 300 ppm at an energy cost 500 times less than the energy it delivers with current thermal-spectrum reactors. If the energy cost increases in inverse proportion to the Ore concentration, shales and phosphates, with a Uranium abundance of 10 - 20 ppm, could be mined with an energy gain of 16 - 32. The total amount of Uranium in these rocks is estimated to be 8000 times greater than the deposits currently being exploited.

Oh, bugger. Why spoil an interesting scare with a few piddling facts?

We'll do seawater later, Mobbsey. But please, for now, remember, we've already explored the cake to fuel efficiency point that you might claim (forgetting that a CANDU type does need enriched fuel) . . .
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Rossing mine in Nambia mines Uranium at an Ore concentration of 300 ppm at an energy cost 500 times less than the energy it delivers with current thermal-spectrum reactors.
That's nice to know.

How would you like to work in it? How do they work out the energy costs to get that figure of 500? What is the embodied energy of a healthy Namibian, and how much of that do they count as "lost" when the poor guy starts falling ill (probably none, they just hire a fresh one)?
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rossing? No problems there, I trust?

http://www.wise-uranium.org/umoproe.html

Oops.
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RGR
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="mobbsey"]

Last edited by RGR on Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
Quote:
The Rossing mine in Nambia mines Uranium at an Ore concentration of 300 ppm at an energy cost 500 times less than the energy it delivers with current thermal-spectrum reactors.
That's nice to know.

How would you like to work in it?
Seems no better, no worse than any other large mining facility. There are accidents, as ever, but you guys don't care about them, esp. workers falling from wind turbine towers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%B6ssing_Uranium_Mine


RenewableCandy wrote:
How do they work out the energy costs to get that figure of 500?

I expect they divide how much energy you can get out of a certain amount of uranium by the amount of energy that it takes to extract it.


RenewableCandy wrote:
What is the embodied energy of a healthy Namibian, and how much of that do they count as "lost" when the poor guy starts falling ill (probably none, they just hire a fresh one)?
I've no idea. Are you suggesting that we stuff a Namibian in a bomb calorimeter to measure his calorific content? In any event, it's his work rate we require, not his total energy, and given that there's only 800 working there, extracting huge quantities of ore, I doubt any of them are doing any manual work.
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