Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Aug 11, 2011 8:24 am 
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Availability of Thorium

Sufficient quantity of thorium reserves are available in the country which has the potential to serve as feedstock for an ambitious nuclear power programme.

The atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a constituent of Department of Atomic Energy has established the presence of 10.70 million tonnes of Monazite in the country, which contains 9,63,000 tonnes of Thorium Oxide (ThO2). India Monazite contains about 9-10% of ThO2 and about 8,46,477 tonnes of thorium Metal can be obtained from 9,63,000 tonnes of ThO2 which will be used for future programmes of DAE.

India is pursuing a three-stage nuclear power generation programme aimed at long term energy independence based on use of our abundant Thorium resources. The programme is to use Thorium for electricity generation in the long-term. In order to realize this goal, we are well into the first stage based on our modest domestic uranium resources. This will be followed by second stage comprising of fast reactors. It is proposed to set up a large power generation capacity based on fast reactors before getting into the third stage. Thorium in itself cannot produce electricity and it has to be first converted to Uranium-233 in a nuclear reactor. A comprehensive three-stage nuclear power programme is therefore being implemented sequentially.

Shri V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions and in the Prime Minister’s Office gave this information in a written reply to a question by Adv. Ganeshrao Dudhgaonkar in Lok Sabha today.


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PostPosted: Aug 12, 2011 6:47 am 
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Thorium fuel has a big negative-it needs fissile feed from elsewhere. Even the earlier estimates were substantial but only research and no power production from thorium is in action. Paucity of fissile feed is the reason.
Indians need to develop a FS-MSR breeder which could start on a 238U-239Pu cycle and could proceed to use either uranium or thorium as subsequent fuel feed. 846,000tons of thorium could provide a substantial part of energy to the world in such reactors.


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PostPosted: Aug 16, 2011 6:54 pm 
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When is stage two scheduled to start?


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PostPosted: Aug 16, 2011 7:29 pm 
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Stage II is in progress with the 500MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor in an advanced stage of construction. Once it starts operation, it will irradiate thorium in its blanket.
Thorium availability is not critical to production of energy from thorium. Fissile feed is.


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