Turns out there's this teensy-weensy problemette:
Perhaps the most worrying problem is the misconception that uranium is plentiful. The world's nuclear plants today eat through some 65,000 tons of uranium each year. Of this, the mining industry supplies about 40,000 tons. The rest comes from secondary sources such as civilian and military stockpiles, reprocessed fuel and re-enriched uranium. "But without access to the military stocks, the civilian western uranium stocks will be exhausted by 2013, concludes Dittmar. It's not clear how the shortfall can be made up since nobody seems to know where the mining industry can look for more.
Fuck. This is a bit different from the oil situation, because we know where there is lots more oil, it's just not economically feasible to dig it out ... yet! But if we don't know where the uranium is, then we have a much more immediate problem.
So, ironically, it turns out there might be a use for all those old nuclear weapons after all:
There is one tantalising ray of sunlight in this nuclear nightmare: the possibility that severe energy shortages will force governments to release military stockpiles of weapons grade uranium and plutonium for civilian use. Could it be possible that the coming nuclear energy crisis could rid the world of most of its nuclear weapons?
But once they're gone, then what? Well, as per the title of this post: we know that whirling around in space are vast lumps of various minerals and metals. Maybe we need to start thinking about a space mining program.
Or maybe we just need to start accepting that we will need other means of fuel, like coal and oil. And that they are here to stay.