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Old 03-26-2008, 11:43 AM   #161
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Nuclear energy is certainly not the miracle cure-all for our energy problems. Known uranium ore resources which can be mined at about current costs are estimated to be sufficient to produce fuel for about 85 years at current levels. If trhe number of nuclear plants is doubled then there is enough to last 40 years.
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:04 PM   #162
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Not much is known about uranium reserves, as the amount of exploration has been far less than for oil, etc. Also, if the most easily-recovered uranium became more scarce and price increased, there is a lot more than can be economically recovered. Uranium is fairly common stuff--about as common as tin or zinc. Today, the fuel cost for electricity from nuclear plants amounts to 2 cents per kwh (about 1/2 the price of coal), so even if the price of uranium doubled it would still not be prohibitively expensive.

And, of course, if we decide to use breeder reactors, we'll have fuel for a very long time (millions of years).

Yes, I know breeder reactors have their own set of issues (particularly the proliferation potential of the increased storage and shipment of Pu), but these problems aren't technical ones.

The info above and more:
Freedom For Fission- finding the fuel

And this, from a more impartial site:
"Uranium is an abundant natural resource that is found all over the world. At current rates of use, uranium resources could last more than 500 years. (A process called "breeding," which converts uranium into plutonium-an even better fuel--could extend uranium reserves for millions of years.)"
Nuclear Energy
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:28 AM   #163
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And, of course, if we decide to use breeder reactors, we'll have fuel for a very long time (millions of years).
Along with the waste it produces.
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:49 AM   #164
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Whatever happened to conservation? It may not take us all the way to energy independence, but it's a lot easier and cheaper than nuclear. It's a good place to start!
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:20 AM   #165
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Whatever happened to conservation? It may not take us all the way to energy independence, but it's a lot easier and cheaper than nuclear. It's a good place to start!
That will come. As prices continue to rise, demand will lower.

There will be a new round of pushing for more energy efficiency in a number of areas. And of course, this give businesses the opportunity to sell you the more energy efficient autos, durable goods and electronics. They are going to help you save money.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:20 AM   #166
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Not much is known about uranium reserves, as the amount of exploration has been far less than for oil, etc.
You are right about that. I have found numbers all over the board. Much more research is needed in nuclear energy.
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:14 PM   #167
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Known uranium ore resources which can be mined at about current costs are estimated to be sufficient to produce fuel for about 85 years at current levels. If trhe number of nuclear plants is doubled then there is enough to last 40 years.
That's only if we insist on burying or otherwise hiding the 'spent' fuel element away after one use. The 'spent' elements are still around 92-95% unused fuel. It's just that the remaining fuel isn't quite able to sustain the fission reaction used to make heat, and so power, without being reprocessed.

If the fuel is reprocessed, without using breeder reactors or other advanced methods there is still enough in known reserves to last several hundred years. Applying more advanced reactor designs such as Thorium->Uranium-233 cycle reactors along with fuel recycling, the available fuel for fission power can readily last well over a thousand years.
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:27 PM   #168
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Whatever happened to conservation? It may not take us all the way to energy independence, but it's a lot easier and cheaper than nuclear. It's a good place to start!
WHAT! And live below our energy means? That's Un-American!
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