Controversial as it is, nuclear power remains a viable source of energy as we transition away from fossil fuels toward methods with far smaller carbon footprints. Underground uranium reserves may be on the decline, but the oceans contain billions of tons of the metal, just waiting for us to find a practical way to extract it. To that end, a Stanford team has developed a technique that improves the capacity, rate and reusability of materials that harvest uranium from seawater.
“For much of this century, some fraction of our electricity will need to come from sources that we can turn on and off,” says Steven Chu, co-author of the study. “I believe nuclear power should be part of that mix, and assuring access to uranium is part of the solution to carbon-free energy.”
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