While much attention is focused on the waste disposal challenges and recycling possibilities at the tail end of the nuclear fuel cycle, this video produced by the Nuclear Energy Institute explores another crucial step in producing power from today's light water reactors: Mining.
In it, Mark Pelizza of Uranium Resources explains the process of in-situ leaching, as well as conventional excavation and milling. Only about 10 percent of uranium used in U.S. power plants comes from domestic sources. That could change if new mines are approved in Virginia, where state legislators have been rethinking a long-standing ban on uranium mining.
Anonymous comments will be moderated. Join for free and post now!
That was neat!
The statement in the video "groundwater is circulated with oxygen" is less than the whole truth. Check out more details e.g. on the WNA website -
In Australian ISL mines (Beverley and Honeymoon) the oxidant used is hydrogen peroxide and the complexing agent sulfuric acid. Kazakh ISL mines generally do not employ an oxidant but use much higher acid concentrations in the circulating solutions. ISL mines in the USA use an alkali leach due to the presence of significant quantities of acid-consuming minerals such as gypsum and limestone in the host aquifers.