Colorado Plateau Uranium

Discussion of the mining, milling, purification, and world quantities of uranium and thorium.
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Kirk Sorensen
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Colorado Plateau Uranium

Post by Kirk Sorensen » Sep 19, 2018 2:08 pm

On the Hunt for Uranium in Bears Ears
From the base of the mesa, the access road to the mine angled up through the layer-cake stratigraphy that characterizes much of the Colorado Plateau, the roughly 240,000 square miles of high desert surrounding the Four Corners region of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. The sedimentary rocks found there hold some of the richest uranium deposits in the United States—about 90 percent of the uranium mined for the federal government during the country’s Cold War weapons buildup came from the same formation of yellow sandstone that sat at the top of the old mining road in front of us.

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Kirk Sorensen
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Re: Colorado Plateau Uranium

Post by Kirk Sorensen » Feb 01, 2019 11:00 am

Searching for Fortune With America's Last Uranium Prospector
The most famous of these wildcatters was a young geologist from Texas named Charlie Steen. Steen had the foresight not to waste his time combing the hills at random with a Geiger counter, as thousands of others did, but rather to look for physical evidence on the Earth's surface that might indicate the presence of a subterranean chimney of collapsed rock called a breccia pipe. The lightless depths of a breccia pipe are an agreeable place for the formation of heavy metals, including uranium, the heaviest metal commonly found in nature. Steen predicted their worth and believed he'd found the telltale signs in downward-sloping surface rock formations called anticlines. He got lucky when, on the verge of bankruptcy, he found that sample rocks from one of his anticlines set off a Geiger counter at a gas station. According to historian Michael Amundson, author of Yellowcake Towns, a thorough history of uranium mining in the American West, the mine he opened at the site of the anticline contained the largest uranium ore body in the history of the Colorado Plateau.

jagdish
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Re: Colorado Plateau Uranium

Post by jagdish » Feb 04, 2019 7:56 pm

If recycled as chloride MSR, the US stocks of used uranium can be a near constant supply of nuclear fuel. It can be further extended by judicious use of thorium additive. Chloride salts are more volatile and can be fractionated by distillation. This will leave only some fission products for deep disposal.
Most of radioactivity and heat of fission products is in two components with a half life of nearly 30 years which can be further used for RTG fuel before disposal.


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