Talk:Peak uranium

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It'll push the topic of "breeder-reactors" back into discussion again. Uranium is one thing PU is quite another.15:43, 16 November 2007 (EST) CЯacke®

I pretend no expertise on this one so I had to look it up. I found this article illuminating. --Bobbing up 15:55, 16 November 2007 (EST)


My initial attempt at making this more in line with rational thought was reverted for some reason. Regardless of how this article will look in the end, I think it should be emphasized that this concept is mainly promoted by the peak oil community. It's obvious that peak uranium will happen eventually. Whether it will happen in the next 100 years is not immediately obvious.

Most sources that are not religiously anti-nuclear indicate that this event is far into the future even if nothing but light water reactors is available. If breeder reactors or the thorium fuel cycle are commercialized, the problem basically goes away for (at least) many thousands of years. The point about peak deuterium / tritium is entirely absurd - firstly because those will not run out for many millions of years, and secondly because the technology to utilize them is not yet ready. --Tweenk (talk) 02:16, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

230 years if I remember my Clean Technology lectures right. But it's dependent on what technology is used. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 02:18, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
1. It doesn't say it will happen in 100 years. 2. You don't think peak oil is a real problem? 3. The 2h/3h thing, if you didn't figure it our on first skim, is a "joke". We often do that here. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:18, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
What has been dropped during this teacup cyclone, is the point about uranium prices being related partially to oil because of mining and purification. All the equipment that extracts it and transports it will be dependent on fossil fuels to power (we're not 100% nuclear powered so at some point in the chain, even electric motors will need it. And if they were 100% solar powered, there'd be no point in uranium processing!). So it doesn't matter how much uranium there is left if we don't have the more readily accessible energy to extract it. We're seeing similar things with peak oil, in that the price is mostly driven up by difficulty, rather than scarcity. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 09:20, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for not noticing that 2H/3H is a joke. The stupid in this area is so pervasive, it's hard to tell jokes apart from dead serious doomsaying. As for 100% solar powered ore processing equipment - this would not make uranium mining redundant. Firstly, making enough solar panels to power a mine is much cheaper than making enough to power a city; and secondly, reactors have no problems working at night. The 230 years forecast is based on current reserves of uranium, but those reserves are actually defined in terms of the price of uranium. When uranium prices rise, reserves expand, because more of it can be mined economically. --Tweenk (talk) 01:01, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Surely we can use the leftovers from fission to make fusion cheaper in the new "neutron economy"? ħumanUser talk:Human 18:17, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm not very familiar with this. It appears possible, but I'm not sure whether it would be cost-effective. --Tweenk (talk) 01:01, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Can I just say...[edit]

This may come out of me feeling particularly argumentative right now, but think about this line...

"Similar optimistic predictions can be obtained from most nuclear power agencies and trade organizations such as World Nuclear Association."

Now imagine that quote, but with "nuclear power" replaced with "oil production" and "World Nuclear Association" replaced with... iunno, "OPEC." I thought I've seen a line about this on the wiki before, but can't immediately find it. You can find it on the web, though; just google terms like "oil companies deny peak oil" or the like. Same thing with CO2 is Green:

"Unsurprisingly, the CO2 is Green and Plants needs CO2 groups are the creation of fossil fuel industry fat cats: specifically Leighton Steward, retired vice chairman of Burlington Resources oil and gas company, and Corbin J Robertson Jr, chief executive of Natural Resource Partners, a coal resourcing corporation, both based in Houston, Texas."

The "optimistic predictions" are from companies/organizations who would want said element item to flourish.

just sayin'. Atreus (talk) 02:38, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

That indeed sounds rather bad. I removed that sentence and left only the MIT study reference.
I feel the best argument against peak uranium is not that there is enough uranium for many decades or centuries, but that peak theory relies on questionable assumptions - e.g. it assumes that demand will expand to match supply, that extracting any deposit costs the same, and that the resource in question cannot be replaced. The problem is, no peaker actually says what assumptions Hubbard made (or maybe even Hubbard himslef did not state them clearly), because it would then be apparent his theory is overly simplistic. --Tweenk (talk) 01:15, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Refer to future?[edit]

Bold statement, referring to a hypothetical future:

Once breeder reactor technology and/or thorium fuel cycle become widespread, the problem will be delayed for many thousands of years, by increasing the available amount of nuclear fuel by two orders of magnitude[in your dreams!].

Yes, and if cold fusion becomes reality we'll get access to a virtually unlimited fuel source ... except [1] and such! I thought this was RationalWiki!? Isn't it? Rursus dixit (yada³!) 17:22, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

ARRGTHGHG "But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink! ARGGGHGHGHH!!! Scarlet A.pngpostate 17:54, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Obviously not. Rursus dixit (yada³!) 18:15, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
The author of the linked paper is one M. V. Ramana, who regularly publishes in the anti-nuclear Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. He writes about one prototype reactor, built in a country that at the time had severely restricted access to civilian nuclear expertise from abroad because it tested a nuclear bomb and never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and he says that those admittedly minor accidents (nobody was killed or injured) are a sign of failure. I would say they were entirely expected under these circumstances. He also discusses the sodium void coefficient while ignoring the thermal expansion of fuel, which provides a larger negative feedback. Finally, most of the references for the important claims, such as the one that "there are a number of reasons to doubt the safety of the PFBR design", are to his own papers. Considering his background, I'm not exactly sure what he wants to achieve: convince India to shut down its breeder program in hope that this will reduce its plutonium production capabilities? India already has nukes and would still have them even if he had his way.
Cold fusion is in an entirely different realm of reality than breeder reactors. The former is a scam, while the latter is just a challenging technical problem. In the 18th century, people talked in the same incredulous manner about powered flight. --Tweenk (talk) 05:13, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Addendum. M. V. Ramana appears to be a legitimate proliferation expert. However, his criticisms mainly apply to one specific reactor project which was conducted under rather unfavorable circumstances. I don't think this paper can be interpreted as proof that breeder reactors are unfeasible. Therefore I'm going to remove the "in your dreams" remark. --Tweenk (talk) 23:40, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Based on one crazy guy you remove the scepticism inherent in the template? ...still waiting for that free electricity. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:58, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean. The "crazy guy" added it himself. As a concession I can change the form from "when" to "if". --Tweenk (talk) 20:04, 12 February 2012 (UTC)