How many pounds of uranium ore are needed to generate a MWh in a nuclear plant?

Modern nuclear power plants operate on enriched uranium fuel. A surprisingly small amount of fuel is required to generate a great deal of electricity but it did not start out that way. Enriched fuel is created from uranium concentrate (U3O8 or “yellow cake”) which itself is made from uranium ore.

Only 6.8 pounds of enriched uranium fuel is required to generate a gigawatt hour of electricity. But, to get that fuel, you need to start with ore that is 7,000 times larger, or almost 50,000 pounds of uranium ore to create the fuel for 1 GWh of electricity.

Download the full spreadsheet from the link in the bottom right side of the embedded Excel sheet.

Code: m171 GWhLbUranOre math xbMath