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Ore grades will never degrade below 4ppm uranium and 12ppm thorium. That's the concentration in granite, and there's plenty of that. A 1GW fast breeder will need about 3 tonnes of fuel per year, which at the above concentration amounts to about 500 tonnes of granite per day. Let's say 1000, allowing for inefficient extraction and some losses.
A coal plant of the same size requires 10 times that amount of coal, leaving a hole in the ground 10 times as large. This environmental impact is not considered larger than that of radwaste, so the same should go for mining rocks.
"He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense." -- John McCarthy
 Yes, a breeder is needed. An LMFBR would work, a molten fluoride or molten chloride reactor might, too. It is completely clear that nobody would burn such low grade ore in a light water reactor.
Also, we're talking about mining common rocks. Rock isn't dangerous, unless thrown at high velocity! Bad Stuff is constantly leached out by rain, because... well, because rocks lie everywhere! Noble gases are emitted when tilling a field, because, you guessed it, because a field is just a lot of tiny rocks.
So what about them, huh?
The three million tonnes coal burned each year in a coal plant contain about 5 tonnes uranium. All the radon associated with that uranium is emitted (and some of the uranium, too). 5 tonnes uranium would fuel a nuclear power plant for two years, and when mining uranium, most radon is contained until it decays. Therefore, nuclear plants emit much less than half as much radon as coal plants, no matter what ore is used. The same applies to soluble radioactive substances, which are easily leached from coal ashes.
If coal plants don't kill all life on earth, uranium mining will do it even less.
And when they do in situ leeching, here is what the IEA has to say about it:
BTW, i know very little about all of this. I'm guessing in situ leeching produces less tailings.
Lastly, I don't get the comparison with coal-fuelled plants. I don't think it makes sense to compare the two alternatives on a step to step basis. The overall picture has to be taken into account. Arguing which alternative pollutes the less says little on which option is better for electricity generation.
Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine
Listen, the whole point is, no matter how poor the uranium ore is going to get, it will never be as dirty as burning coal! Those kooks with their constant "but all the damage done by uranium mining!" should get a grip on reality and rally against coal plants, because of "all the damage done by coal mining".
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