SciTech Connect

Title: World uranium resources. [Use of log-curves in estimation]

World uranium resources. [Use of log-curves in estimation] To estimate the total resource availability of uranium, the authors' approach has been to ask whether the distribution of uranium in the earth's crust can be reasonably approximated by a bell-shaped log-normal curve. In addition they have asked whether the uranium deposits actually mined appear to be a portion of the high-grade tail, or ascending slope, of the distribution. This approach preserves what they feel are the two most important guiding principles of Hubbert's work, for petroleum, namely recognizing the geological framework that contains the deposits of interest and examining the industry's historical record of discovering those deposits. Their findings, published recently in the form of a book-length report prepared for the US Department of Energy, suggest that for uranium the crustal-distribution model and the mining-history model can be brought together in a consistent picture. In brief, they conclude that both sets of data can be described by a single log-normal curve, the smoothly ascending slope of which indicates approximately a 300-fold increase in the amount of uranium recoverable for each tenfold decrease in ore grade. This conclusion has important implications for the future availability of uranium. They hasten to add, however, that this is only an approximative argument; no more » rigorous statistical basis exists for expecting a log-normal distribution. They continue, pointing out the enormously complex range of geochemical behavior of uranium - and its wide variety of different binds of economic deposit. Their case study, supported by US mining records, indicates that the supply of uranium will not be a limiting factor in the development of nuclear power. « less
Authors: ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:OSTI ID: 6665051
Resource Type:Journal Article
Resource Relation:Journal Name: Sci. Am.; (United States); Journal Volume: 242:1
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; RESOURCE ASSESSMENT; URANIUM RESERVES; EVALUATION; GLOBAL ASPECTS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; ENERGY SOURCE DEVELOPMENT; EVALUATED DATA; FORECASTING; GEOLOGICAL SURVEYS; GRAPHS; MAPS; MINERAL RESOURCES; NUCLEAR ENERGY; PRICES; RESOURCES; THEORETICAL DATA; URANIUM ORES; DATA; ENERGY; INFORMATION; NUMERICAL DATA; ORES; RESERVES; SIMULATION; SURVEYS 050100* -- Nuclear Fuels-- Reserves, Exploration, & Mining; 290600 -- Energy Planning & Policy-- Nuclear Energy; 290400 -- Energy Planning & Policy-- Energy Resources