‘Mining’ uranium from seawater moves a step closer
EXTRACTING uranium from seawater is closer to becoming an economic reality, which could guarantee the future of nuclear power, scientists claim.
The world’s oceans hold at least four billion tons of the precious metal.
But for the past four decades, the goal of mining seawater for uranium has remained a dream because of the technical difficulties and high cost.
Now a report presented to a scientific meeting showed that fast progress is being made towards turning the oceans into a uranium reservoir.
Improvements to the extraction technology have almost halved production costs from around £355 per pound of uranium to £190. Dr Robin Rogers, from the University of Alabama, said: “Estimates indicate that the oceans are a mother-lode of uranium, with far more uranium dissolved in seawater than in all the known terrestrial deposits that can be mined.”
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