– Thorium is more abundant in nature than uranium.
-It is fertile rather than fissile, and can only be used as a fuel in conjunction with a fissile material such as recycled plutonium.
-Thorium fuels can breed fissile uranium-233 to be used in various kinds of nuclear reactors.
– Molten salt reactors are well suited to thorium fuel, as normal fuel fabrication is avoided.
The use of thorium as a new primary energy source has been a tantalizing prospect for many years. Extracting its latent energy value in a cost-effective manner remains a challenge, and will require considerable R&D investment. This is occurring preeminently in China, with modest US support…
– Nature and sources of thorium
enlarge graphic>> world-nuclear.org
– Thorium as a nuclear fuel
– Reactors able to use thorium
– Prior thorium-fuelled electricity generation
– Thorium energy R&D – past & present
– Developing a thorium-based fuel cycle
– Weapons and non-proliferation
New generation thorium mixed oxide fuel pellets loaded into reactor for testing
The principal use of thorium is in the Welsbach mantle, which consists of thorium oxide amongst other compounds. This type of mantle glows with a dazzling flame when heated by gas, so is used in portable gas lights. Thorium is also an important alloying agent in magnesium, as it imparts greater strength and creep resistance at high temperatures. Thorium can be used as a source of nuclear power. It is about three times as abundant as uranium and…>>
enlarge graphic>> rsc.org
What Is Thorium Nuclear Fuel?
Thorium is a basic element of nature, like Iron and Uranium. Like Uranium, its properties allow it to be used to fuel a nuclear chain reaction that can run a power plant and make electricity (among other things). Thorium itself will not split and release energy…>>
NUCLEAR ENERGY VS. CHEMICAL ENERGY
Mankind struggled for thousands of years to come to a correct understanding of how matter was constructed. The notion that everything consisted of earth, air, water and fire eventually gave way in the 1700s to “atomic theory“—the notion that everything was made from tiny indivisible atoms. But the discovery of radioactivity in the late 1800s meant that there must be more to the atom than a hard little ball, and it wasn’t until the 1930s that the correct interpretation of the structure of the atom emerged.…>>
The modern concept of the Liquid-Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) uses uranium and thorium dissolved in fluoride salts of lithium and beryllium. These salts are chemically stable, impervious to radiation damage, and non-corrosive to the vessels that contain them. Because of their ability to…>> thoriumsingapore.com
Thor Energy – The Norwegian Thorium Initiative- thorenergy.no
Thor Energy’s technology development activities are undertaken with the vision that thorium-based fuels will be an attractive option for both light water reactor (LWR) operators and nuclear energy policy makers alike… >>
Frequently Asked Questions / Short Answers