Uranium: Hook, Line, and Sinker

Lingering doubts over the future of U.S. energy security are breathing new life into a technology that has lain dormant for more than a decade.

Calm_Ocean_SmallResearchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have more than doubled the amount of uranium that can be extracted from seawater using Japanese technology developed in the late 1990s.

The world’s oceans contain around 4.5 billion tons of uranium, enough fuel to power every nuclear plant on the planet for 6,500 years. The results were recently presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“Our original goal was to double what the Japanese have achieved with absorption capacity,” says PNNL chemical oceanographer Gary Gill. “We have surpassed that.”

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Source: Will Ferguson | NewScientist