Odds and Ends
16 1, 1:48pm
EROEI on nuclear fuels is extremely high, higher than you can get from even the most easily extracted oil. The Saudis get an energy return on their shallow wells of about ten to one; uranium or thorium offers more than a million times energy per unit mass so rather than a ten to one energy return, a uranium mine might well offer well over ten thousand to one energy return.
You can't mine without using fossil fuels, yet. The whole process CAN be electrified. Electric trains are quite common, and electric trucks, such as the Tesla semi, are becoming available. If batteries ultimately prove unacceptable for long haul, there are always fuel cells using electrolytic hydrogen. Ships are probably better powered by fuel cells suing electrolytic hydrogen than by batteries, but it's electrification either way. Jet engines will happily burn hydrogen. There's nothing standing in the way of electrifying digging and processing.