Scott Adams: Thorium Reactors Conserving the World, Border Financing

Healthcare cost transparency EO (cost reduction) by President Trump
Whomever is ready to torture border kids the longest…wins! Solutions to DECREASE or GET RID OF kids being tortured
CNN does multiple interviews of most recent nutty accuser
Iran representative states “White House is afflicted by mental retardation”
President Trump asks…why are WE paying to protect others nations?
Guest: Kirk Sorensen, Nuclear and aerospace expert Startup business, establishing a thorium reactor BENEFITS of a thorium reactor versus uranium Follow Kirk: @KirkSorensen
Project Veritas has confirmed Google CAN affect things…if they want
In the long-run, algorithms WILL evolve to include political predisposition
The problem with Bernie’s“free education” plan
Elizabeth Warren’s “gay reparations” strategy based on previous tax policies
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The Energy Solution That Should Make Everyone Happy

Fake science is a plague that inhibits the advance of the economy and causes vast sums to be wasted going up blind alleys.  Fake science is promoted not solely by crackpots.  Scientists are in the game, too.  If I went through the long list of fake sciences, I’d probably offend every reader.  So I won’t.  For the argument here, I need to mention only global warming, nuclear radiation, and renewable energy.  Personally, I think global warming is fake science.  But whether it is or is not fake does not matter for my argument. What I am going  to suggest will solve the global warming problem if there is one.

 

Nuclear radiation has been the target of a long running scare story.  Yes, a big dose will make you sick or kill you.  But the evidence is that small doses are harmless or beneficial.  This is important because society will not accept nuclear power if it is terrified of nuclear radiation, even though the radiation emitted by nuclear power plants is microscopic.  The argument for the danger of low-level radiation is demolished easily.  You only need to observe that elephants are not suffering greatly from cancer, even though they have vastly more cells that are suspectable to radiation damage.  There are scientific studies that back up the elephant story completely.

 

Renewable energy is a crackpot invention of the environmental Left.  Supposedly, renewable energy uses sources of energy that will not run out, anytime soon, like the sun.  Renewable energy must not emit CO2, because that might cause global warming.  But the renewable energy proselytizers can’t stick to their story.  Hydroelectricity is obviously renewable, but it is excluded because the environmental Left hates dams.  Geothermal energy, using the heat in hot rocks underground to generate electricity, is considered renewable, even though the hot rocks frequently cool because the heat is used up.  The “fuel” runs out.  Wind and solar are loved by the environmental Left, even though they are expensive and brimming with serious problems.  Nuclear is hated and not considered renewable, even though it emits no CO2, the fuel is potentially inexhaustible, and there are no noxious substances coming out of smokestacks.

 

About 30 states have set quotas for renewable electricity (renewable portfolio standards).  For example, Nevada’s quota demands ramping up renewable electricity to 50% by 2030.  California has these same quota: 50% renewable by 2030.  The main scalable renewable energy is wind and solar.  Both California and Nevada are wind-poor and solar-rich.  The best wind is in the middle of the country in states like Iowa and Texas.  Wind and solar are subsidized approximately 70% by the federal government.  The state quotas are effectively an additional subsidy because the electric utilities have to agree to long-term contracts with wind and solar promoters in order to meet their quotas.  The unsolvable problem with both wind and solar is that these are erratic sources of electricity that come and go according the wind and sun.  As a consequence, the electricity they supply is a supplement that can’t be counted on.  When wind or solar electricity is flowing, some fuel is saved in the main fossil fuel plants, usually natural gas–powered plants.  Solar has the additional problem that most electricity is delivered at the wrong time — in the middle of the day, not in the early evening, when it is needed.  For technical reasons, it would be difficult and expensive to get to 50% renewable electricity by 2030 by depending mostly on wind and solar.  The wind and solar people have schemes such as new subsidies for batteries, but nothing is on the horizon that will cure the huge problems of wind and solar.

 

The golden age of nuclear power ended around 1970, when the environmental Left launched a sustained attack based on scaring people with predicted nuclear disasters and cancer.  Even though hundreds of power reactors have been operating around the world for the last 50 years with few problems, the anti-nuclear propaganda blitz has succeeded in crushing he nuclear power industry in the U.S.  The only serious nuclear disaster was the destruction of the Chernobyl reactor in the Soviet Union in 1986.  Thirty-one people were killed in the accident, and nine more died of cancer.  That reactor was a product of socialist disregard for human life.

 

The reactors being built today will seem complicated and crude compared to the reactors that will be available in 20 years.  The problem of meltdown if the cooling system fails will be cured by passive cooling systems that will protect the reactor even if electrical power has failed.  Almost all reactors today use ordinary water, called light water, as the coolant and moderator.  A moderator is a substance necessary to sustain the chain reaction by slowing down the neutrons released when atoms are split.  There are many architectures available for nuclear reactors besides the dominant light water model.  There is also an alternative fuel to uranium: thorium.

 

The theory behind the new generations of reactors has long been understood. Many of the ideas were prototyped in working reactors prior to 1970.  One of the most interesting current developments is small modular reactors.  A number of companies and governments are working on these, mostly outside of the U.S.  These reactors would be built in factories and moved by truck to the location where they will be installed.  They would be meltdown-proof and most likely buried underground. They could be used to make steam to generate electricity in a power plant on the surface.  In some cases, they might be used to supply heat to an area or process heat for industry.  To utilize them to make bombs would require a major industrial reprocessing plant.  In other words, they will be extremely bomb proliferation–resistant.

 

Because small modular reactors would be manufactured in factories from standardized designs, cost would be dramatically lower.  The cost of nuclear electricity today is dominated by the capital cost of the reactor.  The nuclear fuel is very cheap, cheaper than coal or natural gas by a wide margin.  If a large power plant is needed, the modular reactors could be ganged together to provide any amount of power.

 

If over a period of time electricity generation transitioned to nuclear, about half of world’s CO2 emissions would be eliminated.  Since the other half of CO2 emissions are already absorbed by the Earth, CO2 in the atmosphere would cease growing, and global warming would be stopped, assuming that it is largely caused by CO2.

 

I am not the only one who sees nuclear as the global warming solution.  Prominent promoters of global warming, such as James Hansen, Michael Shellenberger, and Stewart Brand are all promoting a nuclear solution.

 

Federal research on small modular reactors runs about $50 million per year.  Spending to subsidize useless wind and solar is probably in the range of $5 to $10 billion, at least 100 times more.  The people who profit from useless wind and solar have more influence than people who are seriously worrying about the future.

 

Norman Rogers writes often on energy issues.  He has a website, Nevada Solar Scam, and he is the author of the book Dumb Energy: A Critique of Wind and Solar Energy.

Fake science is a plague that inhibits the advance of the economy and causes vast sums to be wasted going up blind alleys.  Fake science is promoted not solely by crackpots.  Scientists are in the game, too.  If I went through the long list of fake sciences, I’d probably offend every reader.  So I won’t.  For the argument here, I need to mention only global warming, nuclear radiation, and renewable energy.  Personally, I think global warming is fake science.  But whether it is or is not fake does not matter for my argument. What I am going  to suggest will solve the global warming problem if there is one.

 

Nuclear radiation has been the target of a long running scare story.  Yes, a big dose will make you sick or kill you.  But the evidence is that small doses are harmless or beneficial.  This is important because society will not accept nuclear power if it is terrified of nuclear radiation, even though the radiation emitted by nuclear power plants is microscopic.  The argument for the danger of low-level radiation is demolished easily.  You only need to observe that elephants are not suffering greatly from cancer, even though they have vastly more cells that are suspectable to radiation damage.  There are scientific studies that back up the elephant story completely.

 

Renewable energy is a crackpot invention of the environmental Left.  Supposedly, renewable energy uses sources of energy that will not run out, anytime soon, like the sun.  Renewable energy must not emit CO2, because that might cause global warming.  But the renewable energy proselytizers can’t stick to their story.  Hydroelectricity is obviously renewable, but it is excluded because the environmental Left hates dams.  Geothermal energy, using the heat in hot rocks underground to generate electricity, is considered renewable, even though the hot rocks frequently cool because the heat is used up.  The “fuel” runs out.  Wind and solar are loved by the environmental Left, even though they are expensive and brimming with serious problems.  Nuclear is hated and not considered renewable, even though it emits no CO2, the fuel is potentially inexhaustible, and there are no noxious substances coming out of smokestacks.

 

About 30 states have set quotas for renewable electricity (renewable portfolio standards).  For example, Nevada’s quota demands ramping up renewable electricity to 50% by 2030.  California has these same quota: 50% renewable by 2030.  The main scalable renewable energy is wind and solar.  Both California and Nevada are wind-poor and solar-rich.  The best wind is in the middle of the country in states like Iowa and Texas.  Wind and solar are subsidized approximately 70% by the federal government.  The state quotas are effectively an additional subsidy because the electric utilities have to agree to long-term contracts with wind and solar promoters in order to meet their quotas.  The unsolvable problem with both wind and solar is that these are erratic sources of electricity that come and go according the wind and sun.  As a consequence, the electricity they supply is a supplement that can’t be counted on.  When wind or solar electricity is flowing, some fuel is saved in the main fossil fuel plants, usually natural gas–powered plants.  Solar has the additional problem that most electricity is delivered at the wrong time — in the middle of the day, not in the early evening, when it is needed.  For technical reasons, it would be difficult and expensive to get to 50% renewable electricity by 2030 by depending mostly on wind and solar.  The wind and solar people have schemes such as new subsidies for batteries, but nothing is on the horizon that will cure the huge problems of wind and solar.

 

The golden age of nuclear power ended around 1970, when the environmental Left launched a sustained attack based on scaring people with predicted nuclear disasters and cancer.  Even though hundreds of power reactors have been operating around the world for the last 50 years with few problems, the anti-nuclear propaganda blitz has succeeded in crushing he nuclear power industry in the U.S.  The only serious nuclear disaster was the destruction of the Chernobyl reactor in the Soviet Union in 1986.  Thirty-one people were killed in the accident, and nine more died of cancer.  That reactor was a product of socialist disregard for human life.

 

The reactors being built today will seem complicated and crude compared to the reactors that will be available in 20 years.  The problem of meltdown if the cooling system fails will be cured by passive cooling systems that will protect the reactor even if electrical power has failed.  Almost all reactors today use ordinary water, called light water, as the coolant and moderator.  A moderator is a substance necessary to sustain the chain reaction by slowing down the neutrons released when atoms are split.  There are many architectures available for nuclear reactors besides the dominant light water model.  There is also an alternative fuel to uranium: thorium.

 

The theory behind the new generations of reactors has long been understood. Many of the ideas were prototyped in working reactors prior to 1970.  One of the most interesting current developments is small modular reactors.  A number of companies and governments are working on these, mostly outside of the U.S.  These reactors would be built in factories and moved by truck to the location where they will be installed.  They would be meltdown-proof and most likely buried underground. They could be used to make steam to generate electricity in a power plant on the surface.  In some cases, they might be used to supply heat to an area or process heat for industry.  To utilize them to make bombs would require a major industrial reprocessing plant.  In other words, they will be extremely bomb proliferation–resistant.

 

Because small modular reactors would be manufactured in factories from standardized designs, cost would be dramatically lower.  The cost of nuclear electricity today is dominated by the capital cost of the reactor.  The nuclear fuel is very cheap, cheaper than coal or natural gas by a wide margin.  If a large power plant is needed, the modular reactors could be ganged together to provide any amount of power.

 

If over a period of time electricity generation transitioned to nuclear, about half of world’s CO2 emissions would be eliminated.  Since the other half of CO2 emissions are already absorbed by the Earth, CO2 in the atmosphere would cease growing, and global warming would be stopped, assuming that it is largely caused by CO2.

 

I am not the only one who sees nuclear as the global warming solution.  Prominent promoters of global warming, such as James Hansen, Michael Shellenberger, and Stewart Brand are all promoting a nuclear solution.

 

Federal research on small modular reactors runs about $50 million per year.  Spending to subsidize useless wind and solar is probably in the range of $5 to $10 billion, at least 100 times more.  The people who profit from useless wind and solar have more influence than people who are seriously worrying about the future.

 

Norman Rogers writes often on energy issues.  He has a website, Nevada Solar Scam, and he is the author of the book Dumb Energy: A Critique of Wind and Solar Energy.


Windmills versus nuclear energy

Don’t let HBO’s well-known five-part series Chernobyl (HBOIMDbWikipedia) demonize all nuclear power in your mind.  It made this kid excited to read Mac MacDowell’s essential June 3 short article here at American Thinker.  In “Rare Earth Minerals and Thorium,” MacDowell discusses a different type of nuclear reactor that would do more than simply help us produce tidy energy.  “Global warmists” would do well to read it.

If that short article drifts your boat, then you may likewise listen to the podcast of John Miller, a trader.  In “Wind ‘Farms’ = Ineffective Power Plants,” Mr. Miller reports on a “wind farm,” a term he has no usage for, being prepared near Columbia, Missouri.  He then goes on to sing the praises of nuclear energy, and the whole thing is quite satisfying and helpful.  His design is down-home and he makes technical matters accessible.  (If you like Miller’s podcast, you can discover more of them here and here, but they’re quite diverse.)  Here’s the Instagram map of the proposed wind farm Miller refers to in the podcast.

Don’t let HBO’s well-known five-part series Chernobyl (HBOIMDbWikipedia) demonize all nuclear power in your mind.  It made this kid eager to read Mac MacDowell’s crucial June 3 post here at American Thinker.  In “Rare Earth Minerals and Thorium,” MacDowell discusses a various type of nuclear reactor that would do more than simply aid us produce tidy energy.  “Global warmists” would do well to read it.

If that article floats your boat, then you may also listen to the podcast of John Miller, a trader.  In “Wind ‘Farms’ = Ineffective Power Plants,” Mr. Miller reports on a “wind farm,” a term he has no usage for, being prepared near Columbia, Missouri.  He then goes on to sing the applauds of nuclear energy, and the entire thing is quite enjoyable and useful.  His style is down-home and he makes technical matters accessible.  (If you like Miller’s podcast, you can find more of them here and here, however they’re rather eclectic.)  Here’s the Instagram map of the proposed wind farm Miller refers to in the podcast.

Jon N. Hall of ULTRACON OPINION is a developer from Kansas City.


.

Nuclear Power – Where’s The Uranium Coming From?

U.S. Domestic Uranium Production versus Imports 1950 to 2018.

UxC/UCOM

Since the 1990s, mostly from other countries like Canada and Australia. This is a good thing, as the uranium ores in these countries are much higher grade than ours, and requires a lot less mining and refining to get the same amount of energy into the fuel.

And, except for Russia, most of these countries are our allies.

The Uranium Committee of the Energy Minerals Division released their 2019 Annual Report last week in San Antonio at the annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. The Uranium Committee monitors uranium industry activities, and the production of electricity from nuclear power, because these drive uranium exploration and development in the United States and overseas.

We have more uranium (U) than we need for hundreds of years of nuclear power as a big chunk of our energy generation. Which is critical, since we need to double nuclear power to address climate change and replace coal, even as we ramp up renewables.

Country Origins of U.S. Uranium for Nuclear Fuel.

UxC/UCOM

We also need to provide an extra 300 billion kWhs each year to charge the 150-million-plus fleet of fully-electric vehicles America needs by 2040 in order to have any chance of putting a dent in our petroleum use.

A principal objective of the Annual Report is to summarize important developments in uranium exploration and production of yellowcake (U3O8) needed for the 98 reactors currently in operation in the U.S. and the 450 reactors worldwide, including those under construction or planned for use in the future. (Full Disclosure – I am a member of the Committee’s Advisory Group)

The main points of this year’s Report are:

- There have been numerous discoveries of high-grade uranium deposits in Canada and new low-grade deposits reported to be under development in Argentina and Peru. The main Australian uranium mine in South Australia has resumed operations,

- The U.S. is the world’s largest producer of nuclear power, accounting for more than 30% of worldwide nuclear generation of electricity,

- Some 98 nuclear power plants in the U.S. remain in operation, although a few more are scheduled for retirement on the grounds of economics because of low-priced natural gas, but two new reactors are being completed in Georgia, and are on schedule and on budget,

- Following a 30-year period in which few new reactors were built in the U.S., it is expected that two more new units will come online soon after 2020; others resulting from 16 license applications made since mid-2007 are proposing to build 24 new nuclear reactors, most of which are of the new small modular reactor (SMR) designs,

- The first zero-emission credit programs have commenced, in New York, Illinois, and other states,

- Significant uranium production cuts were made in 2017 from the world’s largest uranium producers,

Historical Spot Price of Uranium from 1988 to 2019 in US$/lb of U3O8. As of late April, 2019, the price remains between $25.00 to $30.00 as a result of long-term uranium oversupply. But Japanese re-starts with Chinese and other new reactor start-ups will diminish the oversupply and catalyze a rise in uranium spot prices over the next decade. Before 2006, spot prices remained very low as cheap weapons-grade U was blended down to make commercial fuel.

UxC/UCOM

- Sustained low-prices of uranium indicate that few new sources of supply are on-line, but a number of mines are either on stand-by or are available for rapid development if prices rise or more nuclear plants get built,

- Most of the uranium purchased by utilities is contracted (based on the long-term price, which is currently $32/lb U3O8),

- Russia currently has seven reactors under construction, and an average of one large reactor per year is due to come on line through 2028,

- Russia is testing a “fast breeder” design that consumes most spent fuel, which is now considered waste,

- Russia is considering banning uranium sales to U.S. utilities because of the sanctions and tariffs applied by the U.S.,

- Russia is also building a floating nuclear power plant for use along the coast of Siberia and in the Arctic,

- Saudi Arabia plans to build 16 reactors by 2030 with the first reactor to come online in 2022

- South Korea currently operates 25 reactors providing 33% of that country’s power, and is building reactors on budget and on time for UAE,

- Japan is upgrading and re-starting most of its fleet of nuclear power plants after Fukushima,

- China plans to build 99 reactors by 2030, with government investment of over $100 billion. Current Chinese activities include 38 reactors in operation, 25 under construction, and 39 planned. They intend to double this number by 2040,

- India has turned to nuclear power to ramp up electricity production to match population growth rates and is also working on “fast breeder” designs,

- India plans to be 25% nuclear-energy-powered by 2050,

- Total production of U.S. uranium concentrate in 2018 was 1.6 million pounds U3O8, 33% less than in 2017, according to the U.S. EIA, from seven facilities: one mill in Utah (White Mesa Mill) and six in-situ leaching (ISL) plants in Nebraska and Wyoming (Crow Butte Operation, Lost Creek Project, Nichols Ranch ISR Project, Ross CPP, Smith Ranch-Highland Operation and Willow Creek Project).

- Senior U.S. uranium industry personnel indicate that mining in Texas and New Mexico might not be re-initiated for a number of years because of the low uranium prices, even as a new surficial uranium resource base has been identified in Texas by the U.S. Geological Survey. However, the U.S. uranium mining industry could get a boost if the President signs the Section 232 Executive Order.

In predicting future energy needs, it’s important to know just how little U is needed to produce power in a nuclear reactor. A single U fuel pellet the size of a fingertip contains as much energy as 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 1,780 pounds of coal or 149 gallons of oil.

Each year, the United States consumes about

- 25,000 tons of U in generating 20% of our electricity,

- 624,000,000 tons of natural gas in generating 34% of our electricity,

- 750,000,000 tons of coal in generating 30% of our electricity,

- 1,000,000,000 tons of petroleum (7,200,000,000 barrels) to fuel our transportation sector, which contains the energy equivalent of 1,500,000,000 tons of coal.

This is a huge difference and why U is the cheapest fuel there is. Since only about 5% of the energy in the U fuel is used in a reactor, most of the 25,000 tons is able to be burned in future reactors, getting up to ten times the energy it provided in the first pass. This is why it is imperative we do not throw this material out and, instead, put it in dry cask storage until we can use it again.

The bottom line is that there’s lots and lots of U in the world, and more keeps being discovered. U resources increased about 25% over the last decade, which has kept prices low.

In fact, we are working hard to make extraction of U from seawater the real future of the U supply beyond this century, although it is a decades or two away from becoming economic. At that point, U supplies would last for billions of years, in effect, making nuclear completely renewable.

But do we have enough U in North America to fuel our own nuclear future?

Fortunately for us and our northern neighbor and closest ally, the highest-grade U deposits in the world are found in the Athabasca Basin of Saskatchewan in Canada, often referred to as the “Saudi Arabia of Uranium”. And new deposits in this basin keep being discovered.

Even so, a new U.S. uranium district has been identified in the eastern Seward Peninsula of Alaska on the eastern margins of McCarthy Basin. Thorium and rare-earth elements have been discovered in the surrounding igneous rocks, making it key to loosening China’s grip on our technological future. Even Virginia has a huge untapped U deposit.

So, as long as we don’t foolishly tank our economy, and don’t go to war with Canada, we should be OK for a long time to come.

” readability=”222.737450787″>

U.S. Domestic Uranium Production versus Imports 1950 to 2018.

UxC/UCOM

Since the 1990s, mostly from other countries like Canada and Australia. This is a good thing, as the uranium ores in these countries are much higher grade than ours, and requires a lot less mining and refining to get the same amount of energy into the fuel.

And, except for Russia, most of these countries are our allies.

The Uranium Committee of the Energy Minerals Division released their 2019 Annual Report last week in San Antonio at the annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. The Uranium Committee monitors uranium industry activities, and the production of electricity from nuclear power, because these drive uranium exploration and development in the United States and overseas.

We have more uranium (U) than we need for hundreds of years of nuclear power as a big chunk of our energy generation. Which is critical, since we need to double nuclear power to address climate change and replace coal, even as we ramp up renewables.

Country Origins of U.S. Uranium for Nuclear Fuel.

UxC/UCOM

We also need to provide an extra 300 billion kWhs each year to charge the 150-million-plus fleet of fully-electric vehicles America needs by 2040 in order to have any chance of putting a dent in our petroleum use.

A principal objective of the Annual Report is to summarize important developments in uranium exploration and production of yellowcake (U3O8) needed for the 98 reactors currently in operation in the U.S. and the 450 reactors worldwide, including those under construction or planned for use in the future. (Full Disclosure – I am a member of the Committee’s Advisory Group)

The main points of this year’s Report are:

- There have been numerous discoveries of high-grade uranium deposits in Canada and new low-grade deposits reported to be under development in Argentina and Peru. The main Australian uranium mine in South Australia has resumed operations,

- The U.S. is the world’s largest producer of nuclear power, accounting for more than 30% of worldwide nuclear generation of electricity,

- Some 98 nuclear power plants in the U.S. remain in operation, although a few more are scheduled for retirement on the grounds of economics because of low-priced natural gas, but two new reactors are being completed in Georgia, and are on schedule and on budget,

- Following a 30-year period in which few new reactors were built in the U.S., it is expected that two more new units will come online soon after 2020; others resulting from 16 license applications made since mid-2007 are proposing to build 24 new nuclear reactors, most of which are of the new small modular reactor (SMR) designs,

- The first zero-emission credit programs have commenced, in New York, Illinois, and other states,

- Significant uranium production cuts were made in 2017 from the world’s largest uranium producers,

Historical Spot Price of Uranium from 1988 to 2019 in US$/lb of U3O8. As of late April, 2019, the price remains between $25.00 to $30.00 as a result of long-term uranium oversupply. But Japanese re-starts with Chinese and other new reactor start-ups will diminish the oversupply and catalyze a rise in uranium spot prices over the next decade. Before 2006, spot prices remained very low as cheap weapons-grade U was blended down to make commercial fuel.

UxC/UCOM

- Sustained low-prices of uranium indicate that few new sources of supply are on-line, but a number of mines are either on stand-by or are available for rapid development if prices rise or more nuclear plants get built,

- Most of the uranium purchased by utilities is contracted (based on the long-term price, which is currently $32/lb U3O8),

- Russia currently has seven reactors under construction, and an average of one large reactor per year is due to come on line through 2028,

- Russia is testing a “fast breeder” design that consumes most spent fuel, which is now considered waste,

- Russia is considering banning uranium sales to U.S. utilities because of the sanctions and tariffs applied by the U.S.,

- Russia is also building a floating nuclear power plant for use along the coast of Siberia and in the Arctic,

- Saudi Arabia plans to build 16 reactors by 2030 with the first reactor to come online in 2022

- South Korea currently operates 25 reactors providing 33% of that country’s power, and is building reactors on budget and on time for UAE,

- Japan is upgrading and re-starting most of its fleet of nuclear power plants after Fukushima,

- China plans to build 99 reactors by 2030, with government investment of over $100 billion. Current Chinese activities include 38 reactors in operation, 25 under construction, and 39 planned. They intend to double this number by 2040,

- India has turned to nuclear power to ramp up electricity production to match population growth rates and is also working on “fast breeder” designs,

- India plans to be 25% nuclear-energy-powered by 2050,

- Total production of U.S. uranium concentrate in 2018 was 1.6 million pounds U3O8, 33% less than in 2017, according to the U.S. EIA, from seven facilities: one mill in Utah (White Mesa Mill) and six in-situ leaching (ISL) plants in Nebraska and Wyoming (Crow Butte Operation, Lost Creek Project, Nichols Ranch ISR Project, Ross CPP, Smith Ranch-Highland Operation and Willow Creek Project).

- Senior U.S. uranium industry personnel indicate that mining in Texas and New Mexico might not be re-initiated for a number of years because of the low uranium prices, even as a new surficial uranium resource base has been identified in Texas by the U.S. Geological Survey. However, the U.S. uranium mining industry could get a boost if the President signs the Section 232 Executive Order.

In predicting future energy needs, it’s important to know just how little U is needed to produce power in a nuclear reactor. A single U fuel pellet the size of a fingertip contains as much energy as 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 1,780 pounds of coal or 149 gallons of oil.

Each year, the United States consumes about

- 25,000 tons of U in generating 20% of our electricity,

- 624,000,000 tons of natural gas in generating 34% of our electricity,

- 750,000,000 tons of coal in generating 30% of our electricity,

- 1,000,000,000 tons of petroleum (7,200,000,000 barrels) to fuel our transportation sector, which contains the energy equivalent of 1,500,000,000 tons of coal.

This is a huge difference and why U is the cheapest fuel there is. Since only about 5% of the energy in the U fuel is used in a reactor, most of the 25,000 tons is able to be burned in future reactors, getting up to ten times the energy it provided in the first pass. This is why it is imperative we do not throw this material out and, instead, put it in dry cask storage until we can use it again.

The bottom line is that there’s lots and lots of U in the world, and more keeps being discovered. U resources increased about 25% over the last decade, which has kept prices low.

In fact, we are working hard to make extraction of U from seawater the real future of the U supply beyond this century, although it is a decades or two away from becoming economic. At that point, U supplies would last for billions of years, in effect, making nuclear completely renewable.

But do we have enough U in North America to fuel our own nuclear future?

Fortunately for us and our northern neighbor and closest ally, the highest-grade U deposits in the world are found in the Athabasca Basin of Saskatchewan in Canada, often referred to as the “Saudi Arabia of Uranium”. And new deposits in this basin keep being discovered.

Even so, a new U.S. uranium district has been identified in the eastern Seward Peninsula of Alaska on the eastern margins of McCarthy Basin. Thorium and rare-earth elements have been discovered in the surrounding igneous rocks, making it key to loosening China’s grip on our technological future. Even Virginia has a huge untapped U deposit.

So, as long as we don’t foolishly tank our economy, and don’t go to war with Canada, we should be OK for a long time to come.