Thorium Power Plants Could Solve The World's Energy Problems

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by SajeevJino, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

    Feb 21, 2012
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    Inside a Cage
    A Norwegian Professor, Egil Lillestol, believes that Thorium power plants could help solve the global energy crisis. Norway has a huge amount of Thorium and a Thorium reactor has lots of advantages over a traditional nuclear power plant. The world's reserves of Thorium could cover the energy needs globally for thousands of years.






    Accelerator driven nuclear reactors based on Thorium may present a solution to the global energy crisis and could help ease political tension globally. Norway could play a key role in this development.

    •There is no danger of a melt-down like the Chernobyl reactor
    •It produces minimal radioactive waste
    •It can burn Plutonium waste from traditional nuclear reactors with additional energy output
    •It is not suitable for the production of weapon grade materials
    •The energy contained in one kilogram of Thorium equals that of four thousand tons coal
    •The global Thorium reserves could cover the world’s energy needs for thousands of years
    •Norway has an estimated 180 000 tons of Thorium which based on the current price of oil is equivalent to 250 thousand billion US$, or 1000 times the Norwegian oil fund.

    What is now needed is the building of a prototype. This will take about 15 years to build and cost approximately 550 M€. It is expected that several countries and institutions will contribute with money as well as know-how if the prototype is realized as an international collaborative effort.

    Norway Can Solve the Global Energy Crisis

    The current thorium mineral reserve estimates (in tons)[1]:

    * 360,000 India
    * 300,000 Australia
    * 170,000 Norway
    * 160,000 United States
    * 100,000 Canada
    * 35,000 South Africa
    * 16,000 Brazil
    * 95,000 Others

    Thorium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    India's Thorium Reactor

    India is working on Thorium for more than 30 years (their nuclear program started in mid 40's, before their independence in 1947 And it is the first country which successfully used Thorium in its reactor.

    In India, both Kakrapar-1 and -2 units are loaded with 500 kg of thorium fuel in order to improve their operation when newly-started. Kakrapar-1 was the first reactor in the world to use thorium, rather than depleted uranium, to achieve power flattening across the reactor core. In 1995, Kakrapar-1 achieved about 300 days of full power operation and Kakrapar-2 about 100 days utilising thorium fuel. The use of thorium-based fuel was planned in Kaiga-1 and -2 and Rajasthan-3 and -4 (Rawatbhata) reactors.

    In India, the Kamini 30 kWth experimental neutron-source research reactor using U-233, recovered from ThO2 fuel irradiated in another reactor, started up in 1996 near Kalpakkam. The reactor was built adjacent to the 40 MWt Fast Breeder Test Reactor, in which the ThO2 is irradiated.

    The Thorium Reactor

    Kamini, a 30 kW experimental neutron-source reactor using uranium-233 fuel has started up near Kalpakkam. The reactor runs on fissile U-233 recovered from ThO fuel irradiated in another reactor, the U-233 having been bred from thorium-232. Kamini is India's seventh research reactor and will be used in connection with the adjacent 40 MW Fast Breeder Test Reactor. The reactor core consists of 72 uranium-aluminium alloy plates (containing about 600g of U-233) in a nine-litre space, totally surrounded by beryllium oxide reflector encased in zircalloy, with light water moderator. The reactor vessel is a 2m diameter stainless steel tank, 4m high. Large negative temperature and void coefficients make the reactor inherently very safe.

    The reactor is seen as a first step towards the thorium cycle, where in a near-breeder reactor U-233 would be bred from Th-232 fuel continuously. Though a focus of interest for many years, the thorium cycle has never been commercialised. However, India, with enormous reserves of thorium-rich mineral sands and no uranium reserves, has long been interested in it. An advanced heavy-water thorium cycle power reactor is under development.

    World's safest N-reactor by India

    India unveiled before the international commuity Thursday its revolutionary design of 'A Thorium Breeder Reactor' that can produce 600 MW of electricity for two years 'with no refuelling and practically no control manoeuvres.'

    Designed by scientists of the Mumbai-based Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, the ATBR is claimed to be far more economical and safer than any power reactor in the world.

    BARC scientists V Jagannathan and Usha Pal revealed the ATBR design in their paper presented at the week-long 'international conference on emerging nuclear energy systems' in Brussels. The design has been in the making for over seven years.

    World's safest N-reactor by India - India News

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