The purpose of this paper is to examine the energy and economic value of used nuclear fuel and depleted uranium. In the USA these materials are considered to be wastes. As such they are candidates for permanent disposal. The disposal of these materials in a manner that isolates them from human contact is a scientific, engineering, economic and political problem. Isolation can be defined requiring no potential human contact during a stated period of time due to failed containment. The period of isolation is expected to be in excess of one million years.
The uranium in the used fuel and the depleted uranium left over from the enrichment process represent about 99.5 percent of the uranium that was removed from the ground by mining uranium ores. If these materials can be utilized they would not be considered to be wastes. In addition they would carry a positive economic value. The value of these materials, based on the energy that can be extracted from the uranium, exceeds $100 trillion. Based on this the conclusion is that the material is a very valuable resource and definitely is not a waste.