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Peak Uranium

The linked article (slightly old apologies, from October 2006) relates to how flooding at one mine caused a jump in prices of Uranium.

With the issues about either scarcity of fossil fuels or carbon emissions there have been discussions about Nuclear Power.

It is quite clear that there are constraints on the availability of Uranium.

There are arguments that there is only enough Uranium to produce three years of the world's electricity

One of the problems with Uranium is that it takes quite a bit of energy to mine and process the ore such that it can be used.

What is needed is a proper full cycle analysis of the production of Uranium.

There are three other suggested nuclear energy sources. These are fusion (where deuterium is hammered together to create heluium), the breeder reactor and the Thorium Cycle which is a form of breeder.

None have been shown to be effective as yet before we take into account the long term effects on the environment.

My own view is that solar energy through algae will be the best mechanism over time to create a sustainable energy cycle. This will still use hydrocarbons, but they will be produced sustainably.

Comments

ecofx said…
Yes, using algae to manufacture a compact, storable fuel from sunlight (whilst using up a lot less land than other crops), coupled with wind power, with a great deal of potential, very low land use, but currently less easy/efficient storage: these are my two favourites on the generation side.
Things are really not moving very fast, though. I did a translation on vat-based growth/harvesting systems more than 10 years ago. Then again, the Rio conference was quite a while back, too!

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