A non-renewable resource is a natural resource that is used up faster than it can be made by nature. It cannot be produced, grown or generated on a scale which can sustain how quickly it is being consumed. Once it is used up, there is no more available for future needs. Also considered non-renewable are resources that are consumed much faster than nature can create them. Fossil fuels (such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas), types of nuclear power (uranium) and certain aquifers are examples. Resources such as timber (when harvested sustainably) or metals (which can be recycled) are considered renewable resources.
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Rössing uranium mine is the longest-running and one of the largest open pit uranium mines in the world, in 2005 it produced eight percent of global uranium oxide needs(3,711 tons). The most productive mines however are the underground McArthur River uranium mine in Canada which produces 13% of the world's uranium, and the similarly underground poly-metallic Olympic Dam mine in Australia, which despite being largely a copper mine, contains the largest known reserve of uranium ore.
Annual release of "technologically enhanced"/concentrated Naturally occurring radioactive material, uranium and thorium radioisotopes naturally found in coal and concentrated in heavy/bottom coal ash and airborne fly ash. As predicted by ORNL to cumulatively amount to 2.9 million tons over the 1937-2040 period, from the combustion of an estimated 637 billion tons of coal worldwide. This 2.9 million tons of actinide fuel, a resource derived from coal ash, would be classified as low grade uranium ore if it occurred naturally.
The Three Gorges Dam, the largest renewable energy generating station in the world.
Satellite map showing areas flooded by the Three Gorges reservoir. Compare November 7, 2006 (above) with April 17, 1987 (below). The energy station required the flooding of archaeological and cultural sites and displaced some 1.3 million people, and is causing significant ecological changes, including an increased risk of landslides. The dam has been a controversial topic both domestically and abroad.
Non-renewable resource Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.