The Science of the Total Environment, April 15, 2014, Vol.478, p.226(9)
To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.01.069 Byline: Andrea E. Ulrich, Ewald Schnug, Horst-Michael Prasser, Emmanuel Frossard Abstract: This study seeks to identify and specify the components that make up the prospects of U recovery from phosphate rock. A systems approach is taken. The assessment includes i) reviewing past recovery experience and lessons learned; ii) identifying factors that determine recovery; and iii) establishing a contemporary evaluation of U endowments in phosphate rock reserves, as well as the available and recoverable amounts from phosphate rock and phosphoric acid production. We find that in the past, recovery did not fulfill its potential and that the breakup of the Soviet Union worsened then-favorable recovery market conditions in the 1990s. We find that an estimated 5.7milliontU may be recoverable from phosphate rock reserves. In 2010, the recoverable tU from phosphate rock and phosphoric acid production may have been 15,000tU and 11,000tU, respectively. This could have filled the world U supply-demand gap for nuclear energy production. The results suggest that the U.S., Morocco, Tunisia, and Russia would be particularly well-suited to recover U, taking infrastructural considerations into account. We demonstrate future research needs, as well as sustainability orientations. We conclude that in order to promote investment and production, it seems necessary to establish long-term contracts at guaranteed prices, ensuring profitability for phosphoric acid producers. Article History: Received 10 November 2013; Revised 16 January 2014; Accepted 19 January 2014
Phosphate Minerals -- Analysis ; Endowments -- Analysis ; Uranium -- Analysis ; Phosphates -- Analysis ; Phosphoric Acid -- Analysis
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