South Texas uranium could help meet the United States' growing nuclear energy demand.
Texas is energy country.
Powered by its massive reserves of oil and natural gas and its vast solar and wind capacity, the Lone Star State has long lead the U.S. in energy production. A recently released report
from the United States Geologic Survey bolsters that status, but in an unexpected way.
South Texas, evidently, could be sitting on over 200 million pounds of uranium — the main ingredient in nuclear energy — trapped in sandstone hundreds of feet beneath the surface. Although there are already two uranium mines in South Texas, the findings represent more of the element than was previously thought to exist in the area.
Nuclear reactors in the U.S. purchased 53 million pounds of uranium in 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration
. That means that the South Texas uranium could power the entire country’s nuclear needs for four years, if demand stays steady.
The U.S. is the world’s largest consumer of uranium, and demand for nuclear energy is growing (despite the hazards demonstrated by the Fukushima Daiichi
disaster in Japan). The country currently imports over 90 percent of what it uses, most of that which from Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan.