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Uranium: The Metal of Tomorrow

Uranium, the Metal of TomorrowThis is a really cool infographic that packs in a lot of good statistics about uranium. Beginning with its initial discovery in 1789 by Martin Klaproth (who named the element after the planet Uranus), uses ranging from tinting glass to nuclear power to nuclear medicine are diagrammed in chronological order. Did you know that this 92nd entry in the Periodic Table of the Elements is, as far as known today, 500x more abundant on Earth than gold, or that 13% of the world's electricity is currently supplied by nuclear reactors that exploit the stuff? A ton of Uranium can produce 16,000x as much energy as a ton of coal, with no greenhouse gas emissions. Sure, the chart is ultimately meant to promote nuclear energy, but aside from a potential catastrophe like a power plant core meltdown or a tsunami washing nuclear material out to sea (if you are dumb enough to build one in a known vulnerable area), you have to admit it is by far the best option economically. Contemporary construction techniques for light water reactors that extract more use from uranium rods, located in areas vetted based on modern geological knowledge far from large population centers, practically eliminates the chance of an incident. Terrorism by religious fanatics is by far the greatest hazard. Kazakhstan, Canada, and Australia (in that order) are now the world's largest suppliers of uranium, with the U.S. supplying a mere 3%. Australia has by far the largest known reserves - it practically glows in the dark. The folks at Visual Capitalist cooked up the gigantic 890x13,571-pixel JPEG file weighing in at 2,712,221 bytes - as heavy in bandwidth requirements as the element it portrays.

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Uranium: The Metal of Tomorrow - RF Cafe


Posted  August 14, 2013
 

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