Quick Answer: Can A Thorium Reactor Meltdown?

Do thorium reactors produce radioactive waste?

Thorium is three times more abundant in nature than uranium.

Compared to uranium reactors, thorium reactors produce far less waste and the waste that is generated is much less radioactive and much shorter-lived..

How dangerous is thorium?

Thorium is radioactive and can be stored in bones. Because of these facts it has the ability to cause bone cancer many years after the exposure has taken place. Breathing in massive amounts of thorium may be lethal. People will often die of metal poisoning when massive exposure take place.

Why are there no thorium reactors?

Thorium doesn’t work as well as U-Pu in a fast reactor. While U-233 an excellent fuel in the thermal spectrum, it is between U-235 and Pu-239 in the fast spectrum. So for reactors that require excellent neutron economy (such as breed-and-burn concepts), Thorium is not ideal.

What is the problem with thorium reactors?

The uranium 233 produced in thorium reactors is contaminated with uranium 232, which is produced through several different neutron absorption pathways. Uranium 232 has a half-life of 68.9 years, and its daughter radionuclides emit intense, highly penetrating gamma rays that make the material difficult to handle.

How much does a thorium reactor cost?

Generally, it’s believed that $300 million would be enough for small thorium power plant. We assume a small plant means about 200 MW. Another way to get a handle on thorium-reactor costs would be to examine the cost of current conventional reactors under construction, such as the Vogtle units in Georgia.

How much energy does a thorium reactor produce?

It is estimated that one ton of thorium can produce as much energy as 35 tons of uranium in a liquid fluoride thorium reactor.

How common is thorium?

Thorium is about as abundant as lead and at least three times as abundant as uranium, according to Lenntech. The abundance of thorium in Earth’s crust is 6 parts per million by weight, according to Chemicool. According to Periodic Table, thorium is the 41st most abundant element in Earth’s crust.

Is a thorium reactor possible?

As of 2020, there are no operational thorium reactors in the world. A nuclear reactor consumes certain specific fissile isotopes to produce energy. … Most nuclear power has been generated using low-enriched uranium (LEU), whereas high-enriched uranium (HEU) is necessary for weapons.

Which country has most thorium?

IndiaBoth the IAEA and OECD appear to conclude that India may possess the largest share of world’s thorium deposits. The IAEA’s 2005 report estimates India’s reasonably assured reserves of thorium at 319,000 tonnes, but mentions recent reports of India’s reserves at 650,000 tonnes.