Topics: Nuclear fission, Thorium fuel cycle, Plutonium Pages: 1 (362 words) Published: April 27, 2013
Considering an Alternative Fuel for Nuclear Energy:
For decades, scientists have dreamed about turning thorium an element that their atomic number is 90 and also is less radioactive and produces less nuclear waste than uranium. Making Thorium an alternative fuel for nuclear energy. Thorium is four times more common that uranium 235 and cannot produce meltdown like the two catastrophes on Chernobyl and Fukushima. The reason that thorium cannot cause a meltdown is because his chain reaction can be stopped naturally. His most isotopic form, thorium-232, can be converted by irradiation to uranium-233, which is suitable for use in nuclear fuels. There are no commercial thorium reactors in operation. Instead, nuclear reactors use the unstable uranium-235. The thorium would be used on a Molten Salt Reactor (MSR). The difference between a Molten Salt Reactor that use thorium has fuel and a Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) that use uranium is that on MSR use a molten salt mixture has primary coolant and on the bottom if the reactor overheats would melt another salt mixture that lead to an emergency container and avoiding a meltdown. This method is cheaper because the security requirement are lower that a common reactor. The Molten Salt Reactor that use thorium has fuel are known since the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s build a reactor of this type. The reactor work 1960 until the 1965 that was stop by funding cuts. The reason that the government stops this experiment was because this energy fuel was discovered on the cold war and the primary objective for United States on that time was to increase his nuclear weapons, the waste that thorium reactors produce cannot be turned into nuclear weapons and the waste that uranium reactors produce can be used to produce nuclear weapons. The primary reason that I select this news is because I am making a research using this reactor method and the most important reason is that we only have six more years...
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