Thorium Reactor

thorium reactor

[′thȯr·ē·əm rē‚ak·tər]
A nuclear reactor in which thorium surrounds the central enriched uranium core to give breeder operation.

Thorium Reactor


nuclear reactor in which the fissionable material is uranium (233U), formed in the same reactor from thorium (232Th). Natural 232Th itself is not suitable for carrying out a nuclear chain reaction and so serves as a raw material in thorium reactors.

The isotope 233U, which undergoes fission upon interaction with both fast and slow neutrons, is first placed in the reactor after being obtained from a different reactor. As a result of the capture of a neutron formed in the fission of 233U, the thorium (232Th) nucleus, after twice undergoing beta decay, is converted into a 233U nucleus; that is, a secondary nuclear fuel is produced. The ability of thorium reactors to effect a large-scale regeneration of 233U (seeBREEDER REACTOR) increases the importance of the large natural reserves of thorium for the nuclear power industry. However, as of the mid-1970’s, the period for doubling the nuclear fuel in thorium reactors is too long (10–12 years); the reactors are used only for research.

References in periodicals archive ?
There are several designs for molten-salt reactors, but the liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) has gained the most attention.
If he wants nuclear as a solution, why not build a thorium reactor just past Llanelli.
A thorium reactor is different; this radical new technology could be the key to unlocking a new generation of clean and safe nuclear power.
Prof Cywinski's pet project the Thorium reactor is still largely untested, not proven in practice, would involve huge funding and wouldn't come on-stream in this country for probably another 30 years which is simply too late.
Windhoek, Namibia, March 21, 2013 --( Groot Group with local and international partners comprises of educational institutions, quasi-governmental agencies, NGOs, researchers, scientists, and industry stakeholders are forming Namibia Institute for Thorium Energy (NITE), a nonprofit organization whose objectives are to research and design the plan for a Thorium Reactor as well as develop the Thorium and Thorium Chloride (ThCl4) Liquid for the supply to selected users.
For a science fair project, she performed qualitative and quantitative analyses of one of the next generation reactor designs called the LFTR (pronounced "lifter"), a Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor with inherent passive safety characteristics that builds upon the earlier Molten Salt Reactor research.
The answer to your question is by using a particle accelerator which, thanks to funding from the Research Councils UK Basic Technology Programme, has led to a breakthrough that now makes it possible to build a thorium reactor without any uranium input.
The accelerator-driven thorium reactor is competitive with conventional reactors and provides a practical way of disposing of nuclear weapons.
The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor uses no water, so it cannot have steam or hydrogen gas explosions.
Their Accelerator Driven Thorium Reactor (ADTR), which could become the first commercial-scale plant to use thorium as a fuel instead of uranium, was handed the prestigious Energy Award at this year's IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) Innovations and Excellence Awards.
Kasten, 'Review of the Radkowsky Thorium Reactor Concept', Science and Global Security, vol.
Firstly there is nuclear: A thorium reactor could be constructed in Burry Port just south of the railway line by the B4331, creating vast amounts of energy and many hundreds of local construction jobs - the government has even promised to give extra cash to communities who allow the storage of nuclear waste in their localities, so it would be quids in all round.