Windmills and Birds

Subject: Windmills and Birds
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 16:26:53 +1100
On Thu, Jan 26, 2006 at 01:09:40PM +1000, Tim Murphy wrote:
> You have to process one thousand tons of sea water to get 3 grams of Uranium
> if you could do it with 100% efficiency. While it may be technically
> possible to extract these 3 grams,  the energy use in extracting them is
> likely to require more than the energy in the 3 grams of Uranium.
> I think you better look for an alternative.

I don't think you are  considering how little fuel breeder reactors
need.  A Japanese group already claim to have a process for extract
uranium from seawater at 10-20x the cost of mining conventional uranium
reserves.  If they are right and this uranium was used with a breeder reactor,
the per kwh fuel costs would be lower than for the current once through
fuel cycle which consumes only 1% of the uranium.

There isn't going to much interest or funding for extracting in uranium
from sewater because its looks like there will be better alternatives
for some decades or maybe centuries.  There are reasons to be concerned
about nuclear power generation, e.g. facilitating weapons proliferation,
but exhausting fuel reserves isn't one of them.

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