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breeder reactors, and when it is developed, fusion power, among conventional renewable energy sources, such as solar and falling water. The American Petroleum Institute likewise does not consider conventional nuclear fission as renewable, but that breeder reactor nuclear power fuel is considered renewable and sustainable, before explaining that radioactive waste from used spent fuel rods remains dangerous, and so has to be very carefully stored for up to a thousand years. With the careful monitoring of radioactive waste products also being required upon the use of other renewable energy sources, such as geothermal energy. The use of nuclear technology relying on fission requires Naturally occurring radioactive material as fuel.
Uranium, the most common fission fuel, and is present in the ground at relatively low concentrations and mined in 19 countries. This mined uranium is used to fuel energy-generating nuclear reactors with fissionable uranium-235 which generates heat that is ultimately used to power turbines to generate electricity. Renewable energy and energy efficiency are no longer niche sectors that are promoted only by governments and environmentalists.
This is why Ricardo's simplistic notion that the price of a mineral resource should increase over time has in fact turned out to be the opposite, nearly all metal ores have decreased in inflation adjusted prices since well before the early 20th century.
The main reason he was wrong is that he assumed that metals are exhaustible on a world scale, and he also misunderstood the effect of globally competing markets; in human terms the amount of metal in the earth's crust is essentially limitless.
These factors are commercializing renewable energy, enlarging the market and growing demand, the adoption of new products to replace obsolete technology and the conversion of existing infrastructure to a renewable standard. However, nearly all metal prices have been declining over time in inflation adjusted terms, because of a number of false assumptions in the above.
In contrast, resources such as timber (when harvested sustainably) and wind (used to power energy conversion systems) are considered renewable resources, largely because their localized replenishment can occur within time frames meaningful to humans.
This also depends on the available technology for both finding the metal ores as well as extracting them, which is constantly changing.
If the technology or demand changes, vast amounts of metal previously ignored can become economically extractable.
A non-renewable resource (also called a finite resource) is a resource that does not renew itself at a sufficient rate for sustainable economic extraction in meaningful human time-frames.
An example is carbon-based, organically-derived fuel. The original organic material, with the aid of heat and pressure, becomes a fuel such as oil or gas.