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PostPosted: Oct 22, 2008 5:24 pm 
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The wikipedia article on seawater doesn't mention whether that is calculated by multiplying the volume of the sea by the density, or whether that is what is expected to be dissolvable once we start using uranium. I am inclined to think it is the former, so if we actually start using uranium from the sea, there's likely a lot more that will start to dissolve into the water from land erosion and underwater volcanos. I would be interested to know the orders or magnitude, though.


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PostPosted: Oct 22, 2008 11:25 pm 
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IMHO the seawater extraction makes only sense with the B and R words.

There is about 32 000 t/y of uranium brought by rivers into the oceans.
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PostPosted: Oct 23, 2008 1:39 am 
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The current use of uranium is more than current output. We are using up stocks. So the people who talk of peak uranium are justified. B and R words show the right way. (As an Indian, I could be biased but still representing the view of a sixth of mankind.) LFTR is likely to be a near breeder but could form the main lot if developed and run economically. Some breeders possibly molten salt breeders are desirable. Old established nuclear powers (Electrical, not weapon) should move to R&B phase and leave the mined uranium to laggards! :lol:


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PostPosted: Oct 23, 2008 11:32 am 
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jagdish wrote:
The current use of uranium is more than current output. We are using up stocks.


Only bacause the world price for uranium is so low that it's not economical to mine much more of it. As soon as the world price rises a bit after some of those stocks are consumed then soem mines will reopen.


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PostPosted: Nov 09, 2008 11:53 am 
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USPWR_RO wrote:

Only bacause the world price for uranium is so low that it's not economical to mine much more of it. As soon as the world price rises a bit after some of those stocks are consumed then soem mines will reopen.


Well, pls supply solid updated industry forecasts for such a claim. This cliche has been around for a decade and we still eat out of a dwindling stock.
The Red Book does not supply any evidence that a mining boom is resupplying the stocks. On the contrary pls explain why the uranium value chain is any different than the oil value chain which - dare I say results - in Peak Oil.


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PostPosted: Nov 09, 2008 11:09 pm 
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Elling wrote:
USPWR_RO wrote:

Only bacause the world price for uranium is so low that it's not economical to mine much more of it. As soon as the world price rises a bit after some of those stocks are consumed then soem mines will reopen.


Well, pls supply solid updated industry forecasts for such a claim. This cliche has been around for a decade and we still eat out of a dwindling stock.
The Red Book does not supply any evidence that a mining boom is resupplying the stocks. On the contrary pls explain why the uranium value chain is any different than the oil value chain which - dare I say results - in Peak Oil.

Because uranium follows log normal distribution in the earths crust and oil doesn't.


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PostPosted: Nov 09, 2008 11:34 pm 
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Elling wrote:
The Red Book does not supply any evidence that a mining boom is resupplying the stocks. On the contrary pls explain why the uranium value chain is any different than the oil value chain which - dare I say results - in Peak Oil.


There is a 300-fold increase in the amount of uranium recoverable for each tenfold decrease in ore grade, seehttp://www.osti.gov/energycitations/product.biblio.jsp?osti_id=6665051. From http://world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html we find that it takes 25 milligrams natural U3O8 to make a kilowatt-hour of electricity assuming no breeding or reprocessing. Currently uranium sells for $46/kilogram (http://www.uxc.com/, or about 12/100's of a cent per kilowatt-hour. So the uranium cost is trivial and could go way up without affecting the price of electricity much.

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PostPosted: Nov 10, 2008 7:24 am 
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If we take an EROEI apprach and ask, when does the recovery of Uranium cease to be worhwild, we would have to go down to the few parts per million found in ordinary rock before we would start to worry. However if we recovered the thorium content of the rock at the same time, we would have a positive energy return from mining ordinary rock. In addition, uranium can be recovery from sea water with a very favorable EROEI. Not only is the cost of mining uranium from sea water low, but for all practical purposes uranium in sea water is a renewable resource. Uranium mined from sea water will be naturally replaced by uranium from sources in the earth's crust. For all practical purposes both uranium and thorium are renewable resources that will not be exhausted for as long as there are people on earth.


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PostPosted: Nov 10, 2008 7:41 am 
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not to mention the other elements, such as gold you would retrieve with the uranium.


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PostPosted: Nov 10, 2008 8:41 am 
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Ida-Russkie wrote:
not to mention the other elements, such as gold you would retrieve with the uranium.


Indeed! But most of the time uranium is found as a byproduct...When it is economically not interesting to separate this from other waste, this kind of stock isn't used (it's even dumped in some countries). At the moment the uranium price rises, the mine could invest in waste treatment facilities which produce uranium and give rise to extra revenues.

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PostPosted: Nov 10, 2008 9:24 am 
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While there is much development of uranium mining in many countries around the world, there is also a good deal of opposition, determined to ban it.
Here's a few examples:

Quote:
House Panel Rejects Study of Uranium Mining
RICHMOND, March 3 -- Lawmakers concerned about land, air and drinking water contamination killed a proposal Monday that would have allowed a study of whether uranium can be safely mined on 200 acres in south-central Virginia, eliminating any chance that the controversial bill could pass this year.

After more than an hour of debate, the House Rules Committee defeated a bill that opponents argued would be the first step toward lifting a 25-year-old state ban on uranium mining.

The decision was a blow to Virginia Uranium, a company that had aggressively lobbied the General Assembly to take the first step toward mining what is thought to be the largest deposit of uranium in the United States.

"I think caution is the best course," said Del. Clarke N. Hogan (R-Charlotte), whose district gets drinking water from the area. Hogan, a committee member, has been skeptical of the study for months and is widely credited with convincing other House members to oppose it.

The bill would have created a 17-member commission to oversee a National Academy of Sciences study. The company would have picked up the cost of the report, which had been estimated at $1 million or more. If the study had shown that mining could be done safely, Virginia Uranium could have used it as leverage in asking the General Assembly to lift the ban on uranium mining.

"What's the harm in doing the study?" asked Buddy Mayhew, a Pittsylvania County tobacco farmer who came to Richmond to speak at the meeting. "Let's have a study. Let's have an independent study by a group that doesn't have a dog in this hunt. It's nothing to them either way."

The Senate had voted 36 to 4 last month to approve the study, with some senators saying they did not support uranium mining but did not mind studying the issue.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) also supported a study, and a state energy report released last fall recommended one as the global demand for alternative fuels grows.

It is estimated there are 110 million pounds of uranium, worth almost $10 billion, under Pittsylvania County. That would be enough to supply all of the country's nuclear power plants for about two years.

"We are in a big energy mess in this country," said state Sen. Frank W. Wagner (R-Virginia Beach), who introduced the bill. "If we don't want to develop our own energy sources, I think we're making a big mistake."

Virginia banned uranium mining in 1982, soon after the uranium was discovered underneath a plot of land used to raise cattle, hay and timber.

Uranium has never been mined on the East Coast, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In the United States, it is mined in drier, less-populated areas in Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nebraska.

Walter Coles, who owns much of the Pittsylvania tract, has said the mining can be done safely and in a way that would benefit the community through jobs, taxes and economic development. He did not speak at the meeting and declined to comment after the vote.

Environmental groups, including the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Southern Environmental Law Center, say uranium should not be mined in highly populated Virginia, with its relatively rainy climate. They say they are worried that radioactive materials could contaminate natural resources, cause cancer or other illnesses and have long-term effects on plants and animals.

"There is really a lot that Virginia Uranium needs to do before you take the first step in lifting the uranium moratorium," said Kay Slaughter of the Southern Environmental Law Center.


Quote:
Uranium ban sends radioactive signal
Globe and Mail, Report on Business Column, 2 May 2008
PATRICK BRETHOUR

VANCOUVER -- Last Monday, an envelope arrived at the B.C. Ministry of Mines containing a formal application from Boss Power Corp. to explore for uranium in the mountainous terrain southeast of Kelowna.

Boss Power got its answer just three days later, although the response - and how it was delivered - was not anything it had hoped for. British Columbia slapped a moratorium on all uranium exploration, going so far as to refuse to issue any new mineral rights for uranium.

Boss president and CEO David Stone got a call shortly after the announcement to tell him that the government was, for all intents and purposes, shutting down his business. Boss shares cratered the next day, falling by half.

Kevin Krueger, B.C. Minister of State for Mining, insists that no one in the government was aware of the Boss application, and that the documents sat on the desk of a bureaucrat out of the office on field work. One would have to take the minister at his word, although Mr. Krueger and others were well aware that Boss intended to make such an application at some point.

But there remains the little matter of why the B.C. government felt the need to act with such finality, and so precipitously. It's certainly not because the government was convinced of any environmental or health peril posed by uranium mining. “Saskatchewan has proved, and is proving every day, that uranium can be mined responsibly,” Mr. Krueger says.

That might seem like a solid rationale for allowing carefully scrutinized exploration to proceed. Wrong. “We'll leave our uranium in the ground, and that's what the public wants,” says Mr. Krueger, adding that the Liberals have no intention of changing course later, come what may. “That's a forever position, as far as this government is concerned.”

The reason is simple enough. The public doesn't like uranium, therefore the government has banned it. A good deal of the public opposition has come from the direction of the Big White ski resort, which would be within sight of the proposed mine. And Mr. Krueger mentions that B.C. won't need the uranium itself, since it has no need for nuclear power.

Unfortunately for B.C., neither of those reasons would have allowed the province to say no to the Boss application. According to Mr. Krueger, an exploration application can only be turned down for a specific environmental or health threat. Having an inchoate dislike for the idea of uranium isn't a sufficient rationale, at least at the regulatory level. And that really is the trigger for the moratorium: The government could not say no to Boss specifically, so it had to deny it - and everyone else.

That approach is out of step, to say the least, with Mr. Krueger's comments from last July, when he assured would-be explorers that uranium mining was possible in B.C. “It is not ruled out. If there's an application for exploration, it will be given full consideration just like any other application. The chief inspector of mines will make a decision on it,” he told The Globe and Mail.

But since then, the Liberals have seized the green agenda from the opposition NDP by launching an innovative carbon tax. Why cede that electoral advantage over a minuscule uranium drilling effort that in any case would have tarnished the view from the summits of the Big White ski resort?

Mr. Stone is not oblivious to the fact that uranium and nuclear power are politically sensitive topics in B.C.; Boss had already decided that any mining would not start until after the provincial election in May, 2009. He is now left with essentially worthless uranium prospects, with legal action against B.C. about the only way to recoup any of his firm's investment or lost profits from potentially hundreds of millions of dollars of uranium ore.

The immediate fallout from the moratorium has hit just one company. But Dan Jepsen, head of the Association for Mineral Exploration in B.C., a mining industry umbrella group, is worried that the sudden freeze hands ammunition to those wanting to lure international capital elsewhere. The new message track, courtesy of the provincial government: You can't mine uranium in B.C., but the business environment is turning radioactive.


Quote:
Global governments love uranium, but won't let companies mine it
National Post, 17 April 2008
Jonathan Ratner, Financial Post

Right or wrong, opposition to uranium projects shouldn't surprise anyone since the fear of exposure in most communities would likely be high. Take Virginia for example. It relies on nuclear energy for roughly 48% of its power, and it even has one potentially viable uranium deposit. Yet the state has had a moratorium on uranium mining and exploration since 1982.

It is this type of NIMBY (not in my backyard) legislation from governments around the globe that poses challenges for miners and investors alike, CanaccordAdams analyst Wendell Zerb pointed out in a recent note.

In Canada, which was the world's largest uranium producer last year, the Nunatsiavut Government in Labrador last week voted in favour of a three-year moratorium on mining for uranium on Inuit land. Aurora Energy Resources Inc. (AXU/TSX), which was planning to begin uranium production in Labrador in 2013, took the biggest hit. TSX Venture-listed names like Crosshair Exploration & Mining Corp. (CXX/TSX.V), Bayswater Uranium Corp. (BAY/TSX.V), Silver Spruce Re-sources Inc. (SSE/TSX.V) and Universal Uranium Ltd. (UUL/TSX) also declined, but at least some of these losses have since been erased.

In Australia, the world's second-biggest uranium producer, the new government under Kevin Rudd is aggressively pro-uranium, Mr. Zerb noted. But in a country where mining and export of the nuclear fuel have long been a subject of debate, the leading Labour Party still opposes the development of nuclear power generating.

Proposals from Anglo-Australian mining giants like BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP/AU) and Rio Tinto Group (RIO/ LSE) seem to going nowhere in Western Australia, as the region's premier is against uranium mining but is allowing exploration. TSX-listed Mega Uranium Ltd. (MGA/TSX) and Paladin Energy Ltd. (PDN/TSX) are exploring in both the west and in Queensland, where Laramide Resources Ltd. (LAM/TSX) is also advancing its assets and where there is a uranium mining ban. Mr. Zerb said there was hope that a new government might overturn the anti-uranium policy, but pressure from coal mining unions appears to be too strong right now.


Quote:
Uranium exploration plan stirs health fears;
A proposal by an American company to redevelop a Central Ontario deposit is being met with concern

Globe and Mail, 27 December 2007
NATURAL RESOURCES, National News
KENYON WALLACE AND DAVID EBNER

Central Ontario residents are weighing perceived health risks and potential economic benefits associated with uranium exploration after the signing of a $3-million financing deal by an American exploration company to redevelop a decades-old uranium project near Haliburton, Ont.

Fuelled by the recent rise in the world price of uranium, Arizona-based Bancroft Uranium Inc. is exploring 1,080 hectares in Highlands East, a small municipality with a population of 3,000 about two hours north of Toronto.

The area produced nearly 6.75 million kilograms of uranium in the 1950s and 1960s. The company's plan to start drilling in January has sparked fears of environmental destruction and water contamination tempered by the realization that any future mine could provide hundreds of jobs to an economically depressed area.

“A new mine will be good for the area because it will create jobs and we do need the work,” said Gary Stoughton, a town councillor for Highlands East. “As for perceived health risks, some people will always complain no matter what you do. We had several operating uranium mines here in the 1950s and 60s and I haven't seen any more people dying here than anywhere else.”

Highlands East resident Robin Simpson, whose 40 hectares have been staked by another uranium exploration company, Vancouver-based El Nino Ventures, said he's concerned his water supply could be contaminated if companies drilling for rock samples hit an underground aquifer.

The situation in Highlands East is illustrative of similar debates taking place across Canada in which uranium-exploration companies and provincial governments are butting heads with local residents.

In Sharbot Lake, an Eastern Ontario township near the Ottawa Valley, local residents and members of the Ardoch Algonquin and Shabot Obaadjiwan occupied Crown land last summer to protest against uranium exploration by mining company Frontenac Ventures Inc. The protesters were ordered removed by a Kingston court in September, and the company is continuing with its plan to start taking soil core samples in the new year.

Anne-Marie Flanagan, a spokeswoman for Michael Gravelle, Ontario's minister of Northern Development and Mines, said the health of people living near uranium exploration sites is a “serious concern,” but emphasized that no uranium mine would come into existence without a full environmental assessment and public consultation process.

Ms. Flanagan said a top priority of the ministry is to balance environmental sustainability with economic development.

In Cambridge-Narrows, N.B., residents are fighting to prevent any uranium mining in their community, citing threats of contaminated watersheds, radioactive byproducts and cancer. The concerns emerged after Newfoundland-based Tripple Uranium Resources Inc. staked numerous claims in the area earlier this year.

Controversial plans to redevelop old uranium mines and build new ones are driven by companies chasing profits in a commodity whose value has soared in recent years, pushed higher by a resurrected nuclear-power market.

The price of uranium surged as high as about $130 (U.S.) a pound by the middle of 2007, up from roughly $40 a pound in early 2006. The price has slid in recent months, but at about $90 a pound, it's still more than doubled in the past two years.

After the accidents at Three Mile Island in the U.S. in 1979 and Chernobyl in the Soviet Union in 1986, the nuclear industry went into stasis. But with higher demand for electricity and efforts to cut carbon-dioxide emissions, nuclear is in renaissance.

In Ontario, mothballed nuclear plants have reopened in recent years and the Ontario Power Authority says two new reactors are required to meet provincial energy needs in the next two decades. TransCanada Corp. has filed preliminary regulatory documents to build Alberta's first reactor. In New Brunswick, the province is looking at building a second reactor and its first is being refurbished right now.

With such a shift in demand, tensions in areas of potential uranium mines is widespread. Nunavut Tunngavik Inc, Canada's main Inuit organization, dropped a moratorium on uranium mining in September that had been in place since 1989.


Quote:
Native leader calls on N.S. to impose permanent ban on uranium mining
Canadian Press
13 December 2007

TRURO, N.S. _ A Nova Scotia native leader called on the provincial government Thursday to impose a permanent ban on uranium mining.

Chief Grace Conrad of the Native Council of Nova Scotia issued a statement saying she is worried the government may lift a moratorium to take advantage of soaring uranium prices.

When asked about the moratorium, which has been in place since the 1980s, Environment Minister Mark Parent said the government had no plans to lift the ban.

But the minister would not be more specific when he was pressed on the issue, suggesting the demand for uranium from the nuclear power industry is something the province has to take into consideration.

"There's a tremendous debate throughout the world on the issue of green energy and energy that is CO2 friendly,'' he told the house of assembly, referring to the fact that nuclear power plants do no produce greenhouse gasses.

"This is a hotly debated topic and as we move into the future we have to keep an open mind.''

Outside the legislature, Parent again left the door open to changing the government's policy.

"The point that I was trying to make is that as we move into the future ... we need to be open to various options as technology improves.''

Conrad said aboriginal people are not interested in seeing the land and the water contaminated given the hazards the industry presents.


Quote:
Parties against renewal of uranium mining
By CTK / Published 12 September 2008

Liberec, Sept 11 (CTK) - Representatives of the strongest six parties that will run in the regional elections in October Thursday unanimously rejected the idea of uranium mining being renewed in the Liberec region.

The discussion meeting today was organised by a local NGO to show politicians' position on the issue many locals worry about.

Local leaders of the Social Democrats (CSSD), the Civic Democrats (ODS), the Green Party, the Open Society Party, the Mayors for the Liberec Region and the Coalition for the Liberec Region agreed that if they were elected to the regional assembly they would do everything to prevent the efforts at the renewal of uranium mining in the region.

Representatives of the two last mentioned parties said they consider it unacceptable for municipalities not to have a chance to express their opinion on the state protection of the local uranium deposits.

The Environment Ministry declared the Osecna locality as a protected uranium deposit at the request of the state mining company Diamo, on the basis of a law dating back to the communist era.

As a result, any construction is banned in the area.

ODS regional election leader Radim Zika, who is a deputy to the regional governor, said the region has tools to prevent the mining.

"It is mainly the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment system). We will definitively use it," he said, adding that the region's raw materials policy does not reckon with the uranium mining's renewal either.

A total of 164 uranium deposits have been detected on Czech soil since 1945, and uranium was mined in 66 of them in the past.

The last uranium mine still operates in Rozna, south Moravia.

In the Liberec region, uranium was mined at two localities, including Osecna, from the 1960s. In the other locality, Straz pod Ralskem, Diamo used sulphuric acid in the mining, a method that devastated nature and still remains a nightmare to local residents.

Four million tonnes of sulphuric acid and other chemical substances form a large underground "lake" in Straz pod Ralskem. The removal of the damage would reportedly take up to 40 years and cost 50 billion crowns.

In Hamr near Osecna, Diamo used the more usual method of mining, but it seriously harmed the landscape as well.

Diamo halted the mining in both localities in the early 1990s but now its renewal is starting to be discussed, as the price of uranium at world markets has increased more than 7 times.

In Straz the deposits contain 115,000 tonnes of ore worth up to 500 billion crowns. Further 20,000 tonnes are in Osecna.

"This is a big value, its mining cannot be ruled out in the future, this would be irresponsible," Industry and Trade Minister Martin Riman (ODS) said during a visit to Ralsko this spring.

Environment Minister Martin Bursik (Greens) has repeatedly assured the locals that he would not allow the mining's renewal but no one seems to rely on this.

The opponents strive for the deposit's protection to be abolished. "We want the uranium underground deposits to be definitively written off," said Josef Jadrny, a local activist.


Quote:
NUCLEAR NEWS FLASHES - Friday, March 3, 2006
INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
--URANIUM MINING IS OF SUCH SERIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCE that it can be
considered under a special directive that complements Finland's existing
environmental law, Finnish Environment Minister Jan-Erik Enestam said today. He
added that uranium mining should be specifically included in the revised
environmental impact assessment law now being considered by the Eduskunta
(parliament). Normally, uranium mining in Finland is subject only to routine
environmental review as is all other mining. The mining issue has been
generating debate in Finland since Cogema applied for a uranium prospecting
license late last year.


Quote:
NUCLEAR NEWS FLASHES - Thursday, February 16, 2006
INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
--COGEMA's APPLICATION TO PROSPECT FOR URANIUM IN EASTERN FINLAND will be
subject to a special review, officials at the Trade & Industry Ministry said today, because it involves radioactive material.
Under Finnish mining law, prospecting applications are normally routine, and give blanket approval to
prospect for anything in the given area; there is no special provision for uranium.
Officials said they will also look at ways to amend the mining law to deal with uranium prospecting in the future.
Residents in the area Cogema wants to investigate strongly oppose prospecting.


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PostPosted: Nov 11, 2008 8:36 pm 
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There could be local shortages of uranium. India has had one for decades. Relief is in sight now only after B (Breeding) and R (Reprocessing) words have started access to thorium fuel. Others may have problems of local resistance, Major producer Australia also has these problems. So it is not enough to decry environmentalist thinking. Optimum use of material resources is as important as that of money, which is just a concept of value and may change with time and place.


Last edited by jagdish on Nov 12, 2008 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Nov 11, 2008 9:44 pm 
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India certainly doesn't have a shortage of uranium, just a shortage of very high grade ores. India could open up a number of mines that serve the same strategic purpose of ensuring uranium supply for a fraction of the cost of building liquid metal breeder regimes, and Rossing shows that you can do this even with low grade hard rock ores.


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PostPosted: Nov 11, 2008 10:31 pm 
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dezakin wrote:
India certainly doesn't have a shortage of uranium, just a shortage of very high grade ores. India could open up a number of mines that serve the same strategic purpose of ensuring uranium supply for a fraction of the cost of building liquid metal breeder regimes, and Rossing shows that you can do this even with low grade hard rock ores.


India is running at half capacity due to uranium shortages. I guess it is not that simple. Could someone who knows the Indian situation elaborate? Thanks.


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PostPosted: Nov 12, 2008 1:46 am 
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It takes years to bring mine production up to speed. Well it also takes years to make fissile material from a breeder reactor.

Now a private company wouldn't ever invest in Indias low grade ores because its a simple matter of politics to sign a treaty that allows importation of Uranium that would put your investment underwater, and people dont want to take that sort of risk, let alone the fact that much of Indias large industries are under the thumb of unions and politicians as is.

But if the government wants to alleviate the uranium shortage, they're going to have to invest in mines directly, and they would see far more return on investment than yet another liquid metal breeder reactor that costs far more than the LWR alternatives. They'd see even more return on investment if they just import it from Australia or some other place with high grade ores, but thats in the realm of politics where decisions aren't allways made completely rationally.


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