Mining uranium provides a valuable mineral resource that is used almost entirely for producing electricity. Uranium mining can also create economic benefits in the form of higher-paying jobs to the local mining area.
Uranium fuels nuclear power reactors that provide nearly 14 percent of the world's electricity. It takes 3.5 barrels of oil or 807 kilograms of coal to produce as much energy as one 7-gram pellet of uranium fuel. This powerful element is also naturally occurring and more abundant than gold, silver or mercury, making it a dependable energy source. The production of electricity at nuclear energy facilities does not emit harmful greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide. Nuclear energy is therefore the only clean air source of energy capable of producing electricity around the clock.
Uranium mining benefits the local economy by bringing higher-paying jobs to the community. Workers with above-average salaries spend their money locally, directly supporting businesses and jobs in the area. Increased incomes and local spending also result in higher state and local tax revenue, providing money needed for improvements in schools, parks and other public works. The typical uranium mining site lasts roughly 30 years, providing a long-term source of employment and economic opportunity.