Notes and further reading

page no.

100military energy budget. The UK budget can be found at [yttg7p]; defence
gets £33.4 billion [fcqfw] and intelligence and counter-terrorism £2.5 billion
per year [2e4fcs]. According to p14 of the Government’s Expenditure Plans
2007/08 [33x5kc], the “total resource budget” of the Department of Defence
is a bigger sum, £39 billion, of which £33.5 billion goes for “provision of
defence capability” and £6 billion for armed forces pay and pensions and
war pensions. A breakdown of this budget can be found here: [35ab2c]. See
also [yg5fsj], [yfgjna], and
The US military’s energy consumption is published: “The Department of
Defense is the largest single consumer of energy in the United States. In 2006,
it spent $13.6 billion to buy 110 million barrels of petroleum fuel [roughly
190 billion kWh] and 3.8 billion kWh of electricity” (Dept. of Defense, 2008).
This figure describes the direct use of fuel and electricity and doesn’t include
the embodied energy in the military’s toys. Dividing by the US population
of 300 million, it comes to 1.7 kWh/d per person.

The financial expenditure by the USA on manufacturing and deploying nuclear
weapons from 1945 to 1996 was $5.5 trillion (in 1996 dollars)
. Source:
Schwartz (1998).

101Energy cost of plutonium production. [slbae].

The USA’s production of 994 tons of HEU... Material enriched to between
4% and 5% 235U is called low-enriched uranium (LEU). 90%-enriched ura-
nium is called high-enriched uranium (HEU). It takes three times as much
work to enrich uranium from its natural state to 5% LEU as it does to enrich
LEU to 90% HEU. The nuclear power industry measures these energy
requirements in a unit called the separative work unit (SWU). To produce a
kilogram of 235U as HEU takes 232 SWU. To make 1 kg of 235U as LEU (in
22.7 kg of LEU) takes about 151 SWU. In both cases one starts from natural
uranium (0.71% 235U) and discards depleted uranium containing 0.25%
The commercial nuclear fuel market values an SWU at about $100. It takes
about 100 000 SWU of enriched uranium to fuel a typical 1000 MW commer-
cial nuclear reactor for a year. Two uranium enrichment methods are cur-
rently in commercial use: gaseous diffusion and gas centrifuge. The gaseous
diffusion process consumes about 2500 kWh per SWU, while modern gas
centrifuge plants require only about 50 kWh per SWU. [yh45h8], [t2948],
[2ywzee]. A modern centrifuge produces about 3 SWU per year.
The USA’s production of 994 tons of highly-enriched uranium (the USA’s
total, 1945–1996) cost 230 million SWU, which works out to 0.1 kWh/d per
person (assuming 250 million Americans, and using 2500 kWh/SWU as the
cost of diffusion enrichment).