Uranium Is Not Future Energy Source[Part-3]

What will happen when we have no coal, no crude oil and almost no fossil fuel? Would our technological civilization die? Many advocates suggests uranium as a future energy source including Brian Wang of  Next Big Future. However I find many implications which opposes the case of  advocates. I’m not going to suggest alternative energy source right now as B.W. asks in his article [if nuclear fission is not the energy source of the future then weird science needs to compare and present what the alternative is that he supports], but be sure I will do it later with full analysis. I’ve described some of them in my previous article which are here . B.W. has suggested that extraction of Uranium could be economical if we use seawater as a resource of  Uranium but that proved to uneconomical and having very less production. Another issue which can be involved with reactor is that if these could power world for long time[since these are suggested as future source]. Here is a Scientific American report which make it obvious to depict that Uranium is not future energy source.

Most of the 2.8 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity generated worldwide from nuclear power every year is produced in light-water reactors (LWRs) using low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. About 10 metric tons of natural uranium go into producing a metric ton of LEU, which can then be used to generate about 400 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, so present-day reactors require about 70,000 metric tons of natural uranium a year.

According to the NEA, identified uranium resources total 5.5 million metric tons, and an additional 10.5 million metric tons remain undiscovered—a roughly 230-year supply at today’s consumption rate in total. Further exploration and improvements in extraction technology are likely to at least double this estimate over time.

Using more enrichment work could reduce the uranium needs of LWRs by as much as 30 percent per metric ton of LEU. And separating plutonium and uranium from spent LEU and using them to make fresh fuel could reduce requirements by another 30 percent. Taking both steps would cut the uranium requirements of an LWR in half.

The report has considered the current rate of energy consumption whilst it is obvious that  we would acquire far more energy than estimated here . The rate o f energy consumption will considerably depend upon following basics:

File:Population curve.svg

  • Population growth is, of course, a central issue to study how to meet with future energy requirements. Considering the seven hundred years, as I have suggested how much population will inhabit Earth? It is suggested that total population to the end of this century will be over 11 billion. According to wikipedia:
World population estimates milestones
(in billions)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Year 1804 1927 1960 1974 1987 1999 2012 2025 2040
Years elapsed 123 33 14 13 12 13 13 15

The population of the world reached one billion in 1804, two billion in 1927, three billion in 1960, four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987, and six billion in 1999. The population of the world is projected to reach seven billion in 2011 or 2012, eight billion in 2025, and nine billion in 2040 or 2050. Now, I ask B.W. what will be the estimates for given 700 years of future.[Though population growth is separate problem alone,  but significantly affect the energy demand required. Imagine population of one million, whole energy problem would be solved.]

World marketed energy consumption is projected to increase by 44 percent from 2006 to 2030. Total energy demand in the non-OECD countries increases by 73 percent, compared with an increase of 15 percent in the OECD countries.In the IEO2009 reference case—which reflects a scenario in which current laws and policies remain unchanged throughout the projection period—world marketed energy consumption is projected to grow by 44 percent over the 2006 to 2030 period. Total world energy use rises from 472 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2006 to 552 quadrillion Btu in 2015 and then to 678 quadrillion Btu in 2030 (Figure 1). The current worldwide economic downturn dampens world demand for energy in the near term, as manufacturing and consumer demand for goods and services slows. In the longer term, with economic recovery anticipated after 2010, most nations return to trend growth in income and energy demand.

The most rapid growth in energy demand from 2006 to 2030 is projected for nations outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (non-OECD nations). Total non-OECD energy consumption increases by 73 percent in theIEO2009 reference case projection, as compared with a 15-percent increase in energy use among the OECD countries. Strong long-term GDP growth in the emerging economies of the non-OECD countries drives the fast-paced growth in energy demand. In all the non-OECD regions combined, economic activity—measured by GDP in purchasing power parity terms—increases by 4.9 percent per year on average, as compared with an average of 2.2 percent per year for the OECD countries.[ref]Figure 1. World Marketed Energy Consumption, 2006-2030 (Quadrillion Btu).  Need help, contact the National Energy Information Center at 202-586-8800.

I will publish more in my next posts. I will also consider other opinion as B.W. suggested in email.

To Be Continued…


About bruceleeeowe
An engineering student and independent researcher. I'm researching and studying quantum physics(field theories). Also searching for alien life.

8 Responses to Uranium Is Not Future Energy Source[Part-3]

  1. Mark Louis says:

    Nice data combination bruce. I suggest that planet harbour more than 11billion since rate of population growth is increasing in developing countries like India. India alone would have a population of 3billion around with rough estimates. For your 700years perhaps 30billion. quite large number. eh?

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  4. Tom Billings says:

    So, Bruce, when do you accept factoring deep burn reactors into your numbers? When do you factor in Accelerator Transmutation of Waste? Why not talk about them? Those are accepted 4th generation technologies the NRC is going to be working up a capability to regulate, at least if they follow their budget outlines.

    In these articles you are continually deprecating the ability of engineers, if freed from the political restraints currently holding them back, to design competent devices performing better by far than today’s nuclear technology base from 40 years ago. As long as you refuse to admit that technical advance can change things in the nuclear industry, then of course the future looks bad.

    I’ve been following the war against nuclear power for 45 years, by now. I have yet to see any willingness from nuclear opponents to accept technical progress changing the industry outlook. I have only recently seen hints that our government might allow such progress, by showing a willingness to consider it as part of the regulated (allowed) nuclear industry. I come from a State that had people who spent so much time on anti-nuclear lawsuits that they listed their profession on their tax forms as, “intervenor”. It is a State that has passed a referendum making the startup of any power reactor here dependent on a majority vote in a referendum, for each new reactor! Its residents attitude towards nuclear power is propagandized to the limit, with people’s knowledge of the subject carefully managed in the State’s one major newspaper to deprecate change by technical advance. Just as you do here. It really isn’t impressive.

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  6. dad2059 says:

    The answer is still thorium Bruce.

    Embrace the future!

  7. bruceleeeowe says:

    Hi, Tom
I’m not deprecating the ability of engineers. As you said as long as you refuse that technical advancement in nuclear future looks bad , I’m agree with you. But if you have read my all three articles it seems improbable yet.
Hi dad2059
    same implications come even with Thorium . Future energy problem is really great. Why not find other than uranium?

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