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Scientists: Seawater minerals could help create nuclear power

January 04, 2013

Scientists: Seawater minerals could help create nuclear power

Scientists have developed a way to efficiently extract uranium from seawater.

Seawater contains huge amounts of dissolved metals and other substances which could potentially be useful, but which have remained too expensive to extract in large amounts. Now, scientists with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee say they have developed a new material which could lead the way to the efficient extraction of dissolved uranium from seawater, providing a huge source of uranium to power nuclear reactors.

“We have shown that our adsorbents can extract five to seven times more uranium at uptake rates seven times faster than the world’s best adsorbents,” said Chris Janke, of the ORNL’s Materials Science and Technology Division.

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