IAEA unveils unique world uranium map
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has launched a comprehensive, online interactive and integrated digital map of the world's uranium distribution and deposits.
This second edition of World Distribution of Uranium Deposits was developed with contributions from the Saskatchewan Geological Survey, the Geological Survey of South Australia and the United States Geological Survey.
This edition classifies information by types of deposits and is unique in that it carries a vast amount of new information and knowledge –consolidating data from hundreds of public sources. It is accessible to anyone online and offers advanced interactive tools.
It classifies the uranium deposits into 15 different types, as well as their subtypes, represented by different symbols that also proportionately show the deposit's size
"The aim was to create a complex map that is very simple to use", said Martin Fairclough, a uranium production specialist at the IAEA and one of the map's developers.
According to IAEA, the map has been created for uranium resource and inventory management, geoscience research and the promotion of the discovery and use of uranium. It also provides data relevant to the implementation of nuclear power programmes around the world.
The map is based on data from the IAEA Uranium Deposits of the World (UDEPO) database, further outlined in the Geological Classification of Uranium deposits and Description if Selected Examples and the IAEA UDEPO 2016 edition documents. UDEPO is continuously being updated and includes technical information and detailed geological information on regions, districts and deposits.
Since the publication of the first edition of the map in 1995, the amount of material and diversity of information available in the world have expanded exponentially, hand in hand with advances in the understanding of uranium deposits. The first edition included 582 worldwide uranium deposits; this latest edition includes 2831.
The map is unique in how it displays this vast amount of information. It classifies the uranium deposits into 15 different types, as well as their subtypes. These are represented by different symbols that also proportionately show the deposit's size.
The map's special features allow users to organize and customize all this data. They can turn layers on and off, making them visible or hiding them. For instance, they can choose to display one type of uranium deposit and hide the other 14 types, and then print the version with the exact selected data they are looking for.