China has formed an innovation alliance to foster the research and application of extracting uranium from seawater, according to China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).
Initiated by CNNC, the alliance gathers around 20 research institutions and universities.
The alliance will focus on setting up standards for the technology and products used in the extraction process. It will help accelerate the development of core technologies and new products, as well as create research platforms and a test base for uranium extraction from seawater to overcome hurdles in practical application.
It is estimated that about 4.5 billion tonnes of uranium is reserved in seawater, about 1,000 times of the land proven reserves, but the concentration of uranium in seawater is extremely low, making it a huge challenge to develop cost-effective seawater uranium extraction technology.
China has made some progress in the development of absorption materials and equipment for uranium extraction from seawater, but it still has a long way to go before commercial development, according to CNNC.