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The possibilities of obtaining long-range supplies of uranium, thorium, and other substances from igneous rocks

Brown, Harrison and Silver, Leon T. (1956) The possibilities of obtaining long-range supplies of uranium, thorium, and other substances from igneous rocks. In: Contributions to the geology of uranium and thorium by the United States Geological Survey and Atomic Energy Commission for the United Nations International Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, Geneva, Switzerland, 1955. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper. No.300. , Washington, DC, pp. 91-95.

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Most uranium and thorium which have been produced in the world thus far have been obtained from ores of relatively high grade. Such deposits are not very extensive and are found infrequently. When the high-grade deposits of these substances approach exhaustion, it may be that material containing these elements in low concentrations will be the ultimate source. An average granite contains about 4 ppm uranium and 12 ppm thorium. If all the uranium and thorium in 1 ton of average granite could be extracted and utilized by means of nuclear breeding, the energy output would be equivalent to that obtained by burning 50 tons of coal. Means are now available for relatively easy extraction of about one quarter of the uranium and thorium from average granite, with an energy profit per ton of rock processed equivalent to that obtained by burning 10 tons of coal. Results also indicate that a variety of both major and minor substances of industrial importance can be obtained as byproducts of uranium and thorium production from igneous rocks. The techniques required for extracting uranium and thorium from igneous rocks are wen within the realm of present mineral-dressing and industrial-chemical experience.

Item Type:Book Section
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Additional Information:© 1956 USGS.
Series Name:U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper
Issue or Number:300
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151021-094312456
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:61364
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:21 Oct 2015 19:18
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 09:07

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