Thorium reactors have very little relevance to strategies for dealing with nuclear waste

Thorium nuclear reactors are unlikely to take over from uranium ones, and are considered irrelevant to strategies to deal with nuclear wastes ,The Engineer finds 27 October 2014 “……..The Cambridge research will explore the pros and cons of different fuel combinations, including thorium, plutonium and the main material the designers are focusing on, uranium silicide, which is more power dense and so more cost-effective than the uranium oxide currently used.

Parks said that because the I2S is an evolution of existing light water reactor designs it could be brought to market more quickly than other reactors proposed for use with a thorium fuel-cycle, suggesting it could even be deployed within a decade and be installed in old nuclear power stations such as Sizewell B.

However, he also admitted that with current uranium stocks there was no major economic necessity to move to a thorium fuel-cycle at the moment and that such a transition would only happen if the government committed to thorium through a long-term flagship research project.

A paper published by the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory in March 2012 found that ‘the thorium fuel cycle at best has only limited relevance to the UK as an alternative plutonium disposition strategy and as a possible strategic option in the very long term,’ and recommended ‘a low level of engagement in thorium fuel cycle R&D’.”


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