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Page added on February 11, 2010

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Spent Nuclear Fuel Rods Could Unlock U.S. Oil Reserves

There’s some incredible new oil extraction technology being investigated over at Nuclearhydrocarbons.com.

Essentially, the U.S. has a lot of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) rods from nuclear reactors, which need to be disposed off in deep, protected underground sites. Yet these rods give off massive amounts of heat as they slowly cool.

Jumping to oil extraction challenges, there are massive amounts of oil locked in U.S. shale formations, which could equal three times the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia even using relatively conservative extraction estimates. Problem is, they require inordinate amounts of energy to heat up, liquefy, and then extract; which makes them too expensive to be worthwhile based on established technology.

Thus there might be an excellent use for spent nuclear fuel rods which are otherwise be left to rot — use the heat they produce, in an environmentally-protected fashion, to liquefy hard to get U.S. oil reserves.

Business Insider



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