Are there any working thorium reactors?

Are there any working thorium reactors?

Aqueous Homogeneous Reactors (AHRs) have been proposed as a fluid fueled design that could accept naturally occurring uranium and thorium suspended in a heavy water solution. AHRs have been built and according to the IAEA reactor database, 7 are currently in operation as research reactors.

Is anyone building a thorium reactor?

A team from the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) the Netherlands has built the first molten salt reactor powered by thorium in decades. There are several basic facts of nuclear power that have made it a tough sell around the world. For one, the uranium needed for nuclear power plants is rare and expensive.

Are thorium reactors legal?

Thorium is merely the breeding material – you cannot create a reactor using thorium alone. Possession of Thorium is regulated in the US as a “source material.” Here’s from 10CFR part 40.

How safe are thorium reactors?

Thorium-based reactors are safer because the reaction can easily be stopped and because the operation does not have to take place under extreme pressures. 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 much would a thorium reactor cost?

The capital costs of thorium reactors would be lower than conventional nuclear reactors; a 1 gigawatt (GW) thorium power plant would cost at most an estimated $780 million in comparison to capital costs currently of $1.1 billion per GW for a uranium-fueled reactor.

Does China have thorium reactors?

China built the thorium reactor in the Gobi Desert near the city of Wuwei in August, and now that construction has wrapped, it expects to begin testing the device before the end of September. If the prototype works as hoped, China already has plans to build a commercial version of the plant by 2030.

Can you legally buy thorium?

It’s not illegal to own a small amount of thorium metal and it can be obtained in certain processed forms – it used to be in gas lantern mantles for example – but you will require a license if the amounts are large enough or if you plan to make anything out of it.

What are the downsides of thorium reactors?

What are the downsides of Thorium?

  • We don’t have as much experience with Th.
  • Thorium fuel is a bit harder to prepare.
  • Irradiated Thorium is more dangerously radioactive in the short term.
  • Thorium doesn’t work as well as U-Pu in a fast reactor.

Are thorium reactors the future of nuclear energy?

Thorium reactors are a different way to generate electricity that could benefit the world. More efficient than their fossil fuel counterparts, safer than a conventional nuclear plant, and generating no carbon emissions as a byproduct, LFTRs are a viable solution for the future of our world’s energy needs.

Is thorium better than uranium?

Thorium, a naturally occurring radioactive element found in abundance in the Earth’s crust all around the world, might well be a better fuel source than uranium for nuclear power generation for a variety of reasons.

What are the pros and cons of nuclear reactors?

Pros: zero carbon emissions, large fuel supplies available, can produce large amounts of electricity. Cons: nuclear safety of operating reactors, huge capital costs and disposal of waste.

What are facts about thorium?

Periodic Table of Elements: Thorium Facts Atomic Number: Symbol: Atomic Weight: Discovery: Electron Configuration: Word Origin: Isotopes: All of the isotopes of thorium are unstable. Properties: Thorium has a melting point of 1750°C, boiling point ~4790°C, specific gravity of 11.72, with a valence of +4 and sometimes +2 or +3. Uses: Thorium is used as a nuclear power source.