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Uranium. The Hot Commodity
What is Uranium?
Uraniums primary use is as fuel for nuclear reactors. Uranium is a heavy dense metal which can be used as an abundant source of concentrated energy. It was first discovered in 1789 in the mineral called pitch blends.
Uranium occurs in most rocks in concentrations of 2 to 4 parts per million and is as common in the earth's crust as tin, tungsten and molybdenum. It occurs in seawater and could be recovered from the oceans if prices rose significantly.
Like other elements, uranium occurs in slightly differing forms known as 'isotopes'. These isotopes (16 in the case of uranium) differ from each other in the number of particles (neutrons) in the nucleus. 'Natural' uranium as found in the earth's crust is a mixture largely of two isotopes: uranium-238 (U-238), accounting for 99.3% and U-235 about 0.7%.
We've traded a few uranium stocks and have done quite well at it in the last few years. If you would like to start trading uranium stocks you can search from our list and then analyze that stock using technical analysis
Some Interesting Facts
It takes only 0.0007 of a pound of uranium in a commercial reactor to burn a 100-watt light bulb for one year; that same bulb would require 876 pounds of coal or 508 pounds of oil to get the same results.
France, which takes 78 per cent of its electricity from nuclear power, means each citizen emits six tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, compared with 9.5 in Britain, 15 in Australia and 18 in the United States.
Nuclear energy supplies over 16% of the world's electricity, more than the world used from all sources in 1960. Today 31 countries use nuclear energy to generate up to three quarters of their electricity, and a substantial number of these depend on it for one quarter to one half of their supply. Some 10,500 reactor years of operational experience have been accumulated since the 1950s by the world's 440 nuclear power reactors.
Since the early 1970's Uranium fueled nuclear power plants have been an important source of energy. A chunk of uranium the size of a softball can make more energy than a train load of coal without producing carbon dioxide. Approximately 30 countries use nuclear power and there are over 30 new reactors in various stages of construction around the world. China, with its insatiable power requirements, is forecasting one new reactor per year for the next few years. This will make China's nuclear power generation capacity to triple and account for 4 percent of its total power output by 2020. China now has eight commercial nuclear power stations, either in operation, under construction, or soon to be built. Among their 19 reactors, nine are now in operation, six are under construction, and four imported reactors will soon be built.
The amount of nuclear power required in the US has also risen from 4.5% in 1972 to over 20% today making it the second most important fuel source for producing electricity after coal.
Nuclear power is a clean source of energy and does not contribute to the problem of greenhouse gases in the earths atmosphere. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are produced in the burning of fossil fuels, the source of about 80 per cent of the world's energy.
Most climate scientists believe global warming is at least hastened by the increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere. Global warming is heating the Earths Arctic almost twice as fast as the rest of the planet in a thaw that threatens millions of livelihoods and which could cause the extinction of several species of animals. The climate change is also predicted to create havoc with the earths weather patterns causing an increase in natural disasters. The biggest survey to date of the Arctic climate said the accelerating melt could be a foretaste of wider disruptions from a build-up of human emissions of heat-trapping gases in the earth's atmosphere. Nuclear Power has proven to be is a safe source of clean energy and would not contribute to the decline of the earths atmosphere.