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# Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines

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Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines  [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2014, 21:48
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45% (medium)

Question Stats:

54% (01:09) correct 46% (01:09) wrong based on 308 sessions

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Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines. It is possible to extract uranium from seawater, but the cost of doing so is greater than the price that uranium fetches on the world market. Therefore, until the cost of extracting uranium from seawater can somehow be reduced, this method of obtaining uranium is unlikely to be commercially viable. Which of the following would it be most useful to determine in evaluating the argument?

A. Whether the uranium in deposits on land is rapidly being depleted

B. Whether most uranium is used near where it is mined

C. Whether there are any technological advances that show promise of reducing the cost of extracting uranium from seawater

D. Whether the total amount of uranium in seawater is significantly greater than the total amount of uranium on land

E. Whether uranium can be extracted from freshwater at a cost similar to the cost of extracting it from seawater

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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines  [#permalink]

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23 Sep 2014, 08:50
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1
Found a very nice explanation on manhattangmat.
here is the link for that http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/mos ... t3508.html

whoa, no, guys. that's not the issue here.

the problem is this:

the argument says
until the cost of extracting uranium from seawater can somehow be reduced, this method of obtaining uranium is unlikely to be commercially viable.

in other words, the argument is saying that the ONLY WAY that seawater extraction will be commercially viable is if the cost of that extraction comes down.

to weaken the argument, then, you need to find ANOTHER way in which seawater extraction will be commercially viable, WITHOUT a cost reduction.
this is what choice (a) does. if the uranium on land is being depleted, then extracting uranium from seawater will become "commercially viable", out of pure necessity. the cost will go up, but that's the breaks.

choice (c) doesn't actually affect the argument at all, because the argument already acknowledges that uranium will become commercially viable IF the price comes down.

--

analogy:
if i tell you this:
unless you eat my fish 'n' chips, you'll never know the true meaning of gastronomic ecstasy

then:
* if you say "eating your fish 'n' chips will give me gastronomic ecstasy", then that doesn't affect my statement at all, because you're just echoing what i've already told you.

however:
* if you say "au contraire, i can also get gastronomic ecstasy from a nice fat slice of meat lover's pizza", then that weakens my argument, because i'm telling you there's only one source of gastronomic ecstasy but you're countering with another.

substitute
fish 'n' chips --> cost increase
pizza --> depletion of land resources
gastonomic ecstasy --> commercially viable
...and there you have it.
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines  [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2014, 23:10
souvik101990 wrote:
Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines. It is possible to extract uranium from seawater, but the cost of doing so is greater than the price that uranium fetches on the world market. Therefore, until the cost of extracting uranium from seawater can somehow be reduced, this method of obtaining uranium is unlikely to be commercially viable. Which of the following would it be most useful to determine in evaluating the argument?

A. Whether the uranium in deposits on land is rapidly being depleted

B. Whether most uranium is used near where it is mined

C. Whether there are any technological advances that show promise of reducing the cost of extracting uranium from seawater

D. Whether the total amount of uranium in seawater is significantly greater than the total amount of uranium on land

E. Whether uranium can be extracted from freshwater at a cost similar to the cost of extracting it from seawater

Well this is a toughie.Two options are too close.
Fact 1: Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines
Fact 2: It is possible to extract uranium from seawater, but the cost of doing so is greater than the price that uranium fetches on the world market.
Conclusion: until the cost of extracting uranium from seawater can somehow be reduced, this method of obtaining uranium is unlikely to be commercially viable

A. Whether the uranium in deposits on land is rapidly being depleted
CORRECT.If the uranium in deposits on land is rapidly being depleted then we have no other choice to shift to some other source .Doesn't matter what the cost of extraction is !
B. Whether most uranium is used near where it is mined
Out of scope. We are concerned about price of extraction not transportation cost or any other thing that this argument is hinting.
C. Whether there are any technological advances that show promise of reducing the cost of extracting uranium from seawater
Incorrect.This is tempting.But i believe the argument is made now so we have to check the validity NOW.The future techs are out of scope.
D. Whether the total amount of uranium in seawater is significantly greater than the total amount of uranium on land
Irrelevant. It doesn't matter how large quantity is available in seawater.If the cost of extraction is high,we will not fetch it.
E. Whether uranium can be extracted from freshwater at a cost similar to the cost of extracting it from seawater
Out of SCOPE.This introduces a new source.We need to evaluate seawater only.
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines  [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2014, 23:10
1
souvik101990 wrote:
Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines. It is possible to extract uranium from seawater, but the cost of doing so is greater than the price that uranium fetches on the world market. Therefore, until the cost of extracting uranium from seawater can somehow be reduced, this method of obtaining uranium is unlikely to be commercially viable. Which of the following would it be most useful to determine in evaluating the argument?

A. Whether the uranium in deposits on land is rapidly being depleted

B. Whether most uranium is used near where it is mined

C. Whether there are any technological advances that show promise of reducing the cost of extracting uranium from seawater

D. Whether the total amount of uranium in seawater is significantly greater than the total amount of uranium on land

E. Whether uranium can be extracted from freshwater at a cost similar to the cost of extracting it from seawater

Well this is a toughie.Two options are too close.
Fact 1: Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines
Fact 2: It is possible to extract uranium from seawater, but the cost of doing so is greater than the price that uranium fetches on the world market.
Conclusion: until the cost of extracting uranium from seawater can somehow be reduced, this method of obtaining uranium is unlikely to be commercially viable

A. Whether the uranium in deposits on land is rapidly being depleted
CORRECT.If the uranium in deposits on land is rapidly being depleted then we have no other choice to shift to some other source .Doesn't matter what the cost of extraction is !
B. Whether most uranium is used near where it is mined
Out of scope. We are concerned about price of extraction not transportation cost or any other thing that this argument is hinting.
C. Whether there are any technological advances that show promise of reducing the cost of extracting uranium from seawater
Incorrect.This is tempting.But i believe the argument is made now so we have to check the validity NOW.The future techs are out of scope.
D. Whether the total amount of uranium in seawater is significantly greater than the total amount of uranium on land
Irrelevant. It doesn't matter how large quantity is available in seawater.If the cost of extraction is high,we will not fetch it.
E. Whether uranium can be extracted from freshwater at a cost similar to the cost of extracting it from seawater
Out of SCOPE.This introduces a new source.We need to evaluate seawater only.
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines  [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2014, 23:37
2
Prem:
Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines.
It is possible to extract uranium from seawater, but the cost of doing so is greater than the price that uranium fetches on the world market.
Conclusion:
Therefore, until the cost of extracting uranium from seawater can somehow be reduced, this method of obtaining uranium is unlikely to be commercially viable.

Which of the following would it be most useful to determine in evaluating the argument?

A. Whether the uranium in deposits on land is rapidly being depleted
>>
Yes: Price in market would rise and hence current price difference would go down.
No:Strengthens/agrees with conc.

B. Whether most uranium is used near where it is mined
>>Arg is abt extracting uranum from sw.
C. Whether there are any technological advances that show promise of reducing the cost of extracting uranium from seawater
>>Yeah, this was a trap for me.But i rejected it, using the variance analysis.
D. Whether the total amount of uranium in seawater is significantly greater than the total amount of uranium on land
>>Not relevant.
E. Whether uranium can be extracted from freshwater at a cost similar to the cost of extracting it from seawater
>>Same as D.
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines  [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2014, 06:05
1
Confused between A and C.

Picked A. What is the OA?
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines  [#permalink]

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04 Oct 2014, 17:08
A
Pre-thinking:
Argument focuses on costs in order for the commercial viability of obtaining uranium from sea to be available; however, if something else affected the supply of the uranium on land, uranium from the sea could be commercially viable

E: Wrong; distinction between freshwater and seawater is irrelevant
D: Wrong; supply of uranium on land could last for a very long time
C: Wrong; TRAP! This is already assumed in the argument!
B: Wrong; where uranium is used is irrelevant
A: Correct; bingo! this talks about supply for uranium on land
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines  [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2016, 14:47
Answer A seems correct. I almost fell for C, but the question stem clearly states that "until the cost of extracting uranium from seawater can somehow be reduced, this method of obtaining uranium is unlikely to be commercially viable." Answer C is quite literally repeating this portion of the stem. A, on the other hand, introduces a reason why the current method of obtaining uranium could be successful even if the cost structure remains the same. I wasn't overly sure about my answer, but it seems as though you seldom can be on the harder CR questions.
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines  [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2018, 08:08
Hey daagh,

Holded A while evaluating options and was about to select it but compared with C, A seemed a bit out of scope. The whole argument was limited to costs about seawater uranium. No matter the uranium in the land depletes, it shouldn't affect the commercial viability through seawater uranium extraction. This is my line of thinking. But as this is official question, I yearn to correct the line of thought w.r.t scope of an argument. Just couldn't believe how A could be the answer.
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Re: Most of the world's supply of uranium currently comes from mines &nbs [#permalink] 29 Sep 2018, 08:08
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