Australian Uranium Issues
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"The energy derived from 1 pound of uranium is equivalent to 20,000 pounds of coal"
If they didn't make massive bombs from it uranium probably wouldn't be such a contentious element, although nuclear power station accidents like those at Chernobyl in the former USSR and Three Mile Island in the USA certainly haven't helped the cause.
The safety of nuclear power technologies has improved substantially in recent decades, to the point where politicians are starting to consider the viability of nuclear power in Australia.
Nuclear power has no direct greenhouse emissions, unlike coal or other fuels which are burnt, but the environmental concerns are valid and allthough highly unlikely a nuclear accident in Australia could have widespread consequences.
However as Australia has around 40% of the world's easily mined uranium there is a valid call for a debate that takes into consideration the position of other less energy rich countries who are at present clamouring for Australian uranium. And if Australia markedly expands its' uranium exports can we then not take part in a 'cradle to grave' industry that includes waste storage and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel?
Read opinions / issues about Australian uranium
- Uranium Spot Price May Be In “The Buy Zone” - Written by guest contributor Jennifer Gorton from Forex Traders
- Mark Lynas - a Green 'convert' to nuclear energy
- Ferguson calls for increased uranium mining
- Australia must lead in an energy insecure world
- Radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel management in Australia
- Submission: Inquiry into the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste ...
- Former Prime Minister and Rhodes Scholar, Bob Hawke nominates Australia as the world's nuclear waste dump
- Australian Conservation Foundation President Professor Ian Lowe's address to the National Press club on October 19, 2005
- Dr Jim Green's research paper on research reactors and nuclear weapons
- Uranium Shortage Looming
- How do "Fast Breeder" Reactors differ from regular nuclear power plants?
- Bakers Group Australian uranium market overview
* Weapons-grade uranium and plutonium surplus to military requirements in the USA and Russia is being made available for use as civil fuel.
* Weapons-grade uranium is highly enriched, to over 90% U-235 (the fissile isotope). Weapons-grade plutonium has over 93% Pu-239 and can be used, like reactor-grade plutonium, in fuel for electricity production.
* Highly-enriched uranium from weapons stockpiles is displacing some 10,600 tonnes of U3O8 production from mines each year, and meets about 13% of world reactor requirements.
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