A map of the assessed area in Texas. (High resolution image)
DENVER, CO. — The potential for almost five years of annual domestic U.S. nuclear fuel requirements may exist in south Texas, according to a new USGS assessment of both identified and undiscovered uranium oxide resources. This assessment estimates 60 million pounds of identified, but unmined, uranium resources, and more than 200 million pounds of newly estimated undiscovered resources.
The uranium oxide is located in sandstone formations throughout the South Texas Coastal Plain, which borders the Gulf of Mexico. The area has long been known to contain uranium, and two mines are currently in operation, with a number of companies actively exploring for uranium.
“As the world’s leader in nuclear power, uranium is both a critically and strategically important resource,” said Larry Meinert, program coordinator of the USGS Mineral Resources Program. “Identifying and understanding our domestic mineral wealth is a vital part of ensuring the security of our supply chain for these resources.”
The 60 million pounds of identified uranium resources could, if mined, provide up to one year’s worth of domestic nuclear fuel requirements, based on 2014 requirements. The 200 million pounds of undiscovered resources could, if proven and produced, add another four years of nuclear fuel for the United States, bringing the total potential to about five years of domestic supply.
U.S. nuclear power plants generate about 19 percent of the Nation’s electricity. In 2014 alone, these plants purchased 53 million pounds of uranium oxide to meet their needs, and U.S. nuclear capacity is expected to increase.
The United States has more nuclear plants than any other country, but imports more than 90 percent of the uranium used in those plants.
“This study highlights the breadth of USGS science related to complex issues associated with the mineral and energy resources lifecycle,” said Jon Kolak, acting program coordinator for the USGS Energy Resources Program. “The USGS provides impartial information to help resource managers, policymakers, the public, and others balance the need for adequate and reliable mineral and energy supplies against the potential effects of resource development and use on the landscape.”
This new study is part of a larger USGS effort to update knowledge of the geologic setting, occurrence, and amount of the Nation’s uranium resources.
The USGS collaborated with the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology on the South Texas assessment. Nuclear power requirements and electricity production are tabulated by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
A fact sheet describing this assessment is online. The USGS provides both energy resource assessments and mineral resource assessments. To stay up to date on all of our energy and mineral resources research, follow us here:
DENTON, Texas –Residents of Arlington, Grand Prairie and the rest of Tarrant County have new preliminary flood maps to review.Language English
A newly published, three-volume “Remote Sensing Handbook” is a comprehensive coverage of all remote sensing topics written by over 300 leading global experts. With 82 chapters, and more than 2000 pages, the handbook is a reference for every remote sensing student, professor, scientist, professional practitioner and expert. The technical handbook includes up-to-date examples of successful projects and case studies, and explains in detail, state-of-the-art space-borne, air-borne and ground-based remote-sensing systems.
The “Remote Sensing Handbook” was edited by Dr. Prasad S. Thenkabail of the U.S. Geological Survey. Thenkabail, an international expert in remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems, described the handbook as, “a complete knowledge base about the evolution and history of remote-sensing science over last 50 years, the current state-of-the-art of its science and technology, and a future vision for the field.”
Volume one of the Remote Sensing Handbook, “Remotely Sensed Data Characterization, Classification, and Accuracies” describes the utility, methods and models used in analyzing a wide array of remotely-sensed data from a wide array of space-borne to ground-based platforms, and discusses various applications in depth. Leading experts on global geographic coverage, study areas, and various satellites and sensors contributed to this handbook.
Volume two of the Handbook, “Land Resources Monitoring, Modeling, and Mapping with Remote Sensing” provides a comprehensive theoretical and practical coverage of remote sensing applied to land resources, including vegetation and biomass, croplands, rangelands, phenology and food security, forests, biodiversity, ecology, habitats, land use/land cover, carbon, and soils.
Volume three, “Remote Sensing of Water Resources, Disasters, and Urban Studies” is an extensive and comprehensive coverage of myriad topics pertaining to water resources, disasters, and urban areas such as hydrology, water resources, water use, water productivity, floods, wetlands, snow and ice, nightlights, geomorphology, droughts and drylands, disasters, volcanoes, fire, and smart cities.
The three-volume Remote Sensing Handbook is available from the publisher or your local bookseller.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The deadline for survivors of South Carolina’s historic floods to register for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster assistance has been extended an additional 30 days to Jan. 3, 2016.Language English
AUSTIN, Texas—After disaster survivors have registered for federal disaster assistance, FEMA will ask them to provide information on disaster damage, proof of identity and residence, insurance and other documentation, to determine eligibility.
As a first step, a FEMA contract inspector will contact applicants to make an appointment to view disaster damage. It is important to provide good contact information at the time of registration and keep the appointment to keep the application moving forward.Language English
Using statistically modeled maps drawn from satellite data and other sources, U.S. Geological Survey scientists have projected that the near-surface permafrost that presently underlies 38 percent of boreal and arctic Alaska would be reduced by 16 to 24 percent by the end of the 21st century under widely accepted climate scenarios. Permafrost declines are more likely in central Alaska than northern Alaska.
Northern latitude tundra and boreal forests are experiencing an accelerated warming trend that is greater than in other parts of the world. This warming trend degrades permafrost, defined as ground that stays below freezing for at least two consecutive years. Some of the adverse impacts of melting permafrost are changing pathways of ground and surface water, interruptions of regional transportation, and the release to the atmosphere of previously stored carbon.
“A warming climate is affecting the Arctic in the most complex ways,” said Virginia Burkett, USGS Associate Director for Climate and Land Use Change. “Understanding the current distribution of permafrost and estimating where it is likely to disappear are key factors in predicting the future responses of northern ecosystems to climate change.”
In addition to developing maps of near-surface permafrost distributions, the researchers developed maps of maximum thaw depth, or active-layer depth, and provided uncertainty estimates. Future permafrost distribution probabilities, based on future climate scenarios produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), were also estimated by the USGS scientists. Widely used IPCC climate scenarios anticipate varied levels of climate mitigation action by the global community.
These future projections of permafrost distribution, however, did not include other possible future disturbances in the future, such as wildland fires. In general, the results support concerns about permafrost carbon becoming available to decomposition and greenhouse gas emission.Current probability of near-surface permafrost in Alaska. Future scenarios. (High resolution image)
AUSTIN, Texas—Texans who sustained damage or losses from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred Oct. 22 through Oct. 31 can now register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The presidential disaster declaration of Nov. 25 makes federal assistance available to eligible individuals and business owners in 15 counties: Bastrop, Brazoria, Caldwell, Comal, Galveston, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Hidalgo, Liberty, Navarro, Travis, Willacy and Wilson.Language English
FEMA Mitigation Advisers Offer Guidance to Flood Survivors in Charleston, Darlington, Dorchester, Greenwood, Horry and Richland Counties
COLUMBIA, S.C. – As South Carolinians rebuild and repair after the recent historic floods, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local home improvement stores have teamed up to provide free information, tips and literature on making homes stronger and safer.
FEMA mitigation specialists will be on hand to answer questions and offer home improvement tips to prevent and lessen damage from future disasters. Most of the information is geared towards do-it-yourself work and general contractors.Language English
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Just a little over a week remains for survivors of the Oct. 1-23 storms and flooding in South Carolina to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and submit loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The deadline to register for federal disaster assistance is Friday, Dec. 4.Language English