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The Forum > Article Comments > Uranium bulls 'as rare as white unicorns' > Comments

Uranium bulls 'as rare as white unicorns' : Comments

By Jim Green, published 26/11/2019

Uranium exploration and mine development expenditures in 2016 were just one-third of the 2014 expenditures and are expected to continue to decrease.

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Nothing to worry about, then. Hopefully we will see a stop to the anti-nuclear harangue, and goodbye to Jim Green.
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 26 November 2019 8:31:35 AM
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So, what's Jim green's alternative for cleaner energy ?
Posted by individual, Tuesday, 26 November 2019 9:03:02 AM
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The article seems to undermine the Peak Uranium trope. Thermal coal at $70/t and 24 MJ/kg gives about $1.68 per MJ. Yellowcake at US$31.50/lb or A$47.23 per kg for 45,000 MJ gives $0.001 per MJ or a tenth of a cent. That's a fantastic advantage and with virtually no CO2.

Those mines currently on hold will go back into production in decades to come. Next century we may need 4th generation nuclear to re-fission single pass uranium fuel. We're lucky to live in a country where we can easily replace fossil fuels. As the years go by the rest of the world will come to Australia begging for cheap uranium.
Posted by Taswegian, Tuesday, 26 November 2019 10:18:16 AM
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Maybe, who knows? But not as rare as the current appetite for new coal!

Why?

Something else has finally started to register, i.e., MSR thorium?

Thorium is the most energy-dense material on the planet and is less radioactive than a banana.

Even with the disaster of Chernobyl,l a nuclear reactor malfunction! And Fukushima, A flood event, nuclear power generation still maintains the lowest fatality rate per gigawatt-hours than any other dispatchable electrical energy generation including Jim's beloved renewables!

And why a diabolically disingenuous Jim is now on the anti-nuclear bandwagon. Did he ever get off?

Jim will ask if MSR thorium is so good, why haven't we got one?

Good question that needs to be directly addressed to those folks who've prohibited it. The US congress and Canberra, which includes all nuclear power generation in its self imposed prohibition.

You'd think someone endlessly banging away abut nuclear waste etc. would be all over any technology (MSR) that made it far, far safer to store/reduced the half-life to just 300 years. All while providing electrical energy for less than a cent PKWH.

With the remaining waste product being eminently suitable a long life space batteries that stabilize in around thirty years and burn up with reentry.

And this dispatchable CARBON FREE energy can replace and then some all our current energy exports, via undersea graphene cored cables. That of their own have no carbon footprint as they reticulate, reliable, dispatchable, affordable, electrical energy to all who want it!

WE could become an energy superpower that not even Jim's much-vaunted renewables could touch!

All that prevents this change and the affordable desalination; and real action on climate change, that would also ensue, is activists just like Jim!

Why? Good question! Of note is his remarkable silence on coal?

Could there be a connection we've all missed?
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Tuesday, 26 November 2019 11:01:54 AM
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replying to Alan B.

HE CLAIMS " thorium is less radioactive than a banana.
FACT. Emission of gamma rays: Presence of Uranium-232 in irradiated thorium or thorium based fuels in large amounts is one of the major disadvantages of thorium nuclear power reactors. It can result in significant emissions of gamma rays.

HE CLAIMS Thorium wastes are " far, far safer to store/reduced the half-life to just 300 years"
FACT. the fission products from a Thorium reactor are a worry, Technetium-99 has a half life of 220,000 years, uranium-232 produces thallium-208 (a nasty wee gamma emitter), Selenium-79 (another gamma emitter with a 327,000 year half-life), even Thorium-232 is a problem with its half life of 14 Billion years (and while the T-232 isnít a major worry, all the time during this 14 Billion years it will be decaying and producing stuff that is!

HE CLAIMS. Thorium nuclear power is CARBON FREE energy.
FACT. All Nuclear power has a big carbon footprint. At the front end of nuclear power, carbon energy is used for thorium mining, milling, processing, conversion, and enrichment, as well as for transportation, formulation of rods and construction of nuclear reactors (power plants). At the back end, there is the task of isolation of highly radioactive nuclear waste for millennia - more transport, building of containers, digging of repositeries.
Posted by ChristinaMac1, Tuesday, 26 November 2019 12:59:51 PM
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@ChristinaMac thorium is ubiquitous in beach sand as grains of the the common mineral monazite. It's the UV from the sun that harms beachgoers not the sand. The problems with thorium power are not the ones you list but engineering problems. Carbon emissions in uranium mining are trivial, about 12 grams of CO2 Scope 2 emissions per kwh. Those trivial emissions could reduce even further with ore leaching not crushing and laser enrichment.

In contrast Australia's average electricity emissions are 820 grams of CO2 per kwh according to a recent report. Wind and solar need open cycle gas or fast ramped coal to firm their output which is why after two decades of the RET we still have high electricity sector emissions. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Posted by Taswegian, Tuesday, 26 November 2019 3:01:54 PM
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