Technology Assessment of Near-Term Open-Cycle Thorium-Fuelled Nuclear Energy Systems

Nuttall, W. J.; Ashley, S. F.; Fenner, R. A.; Krishnani, P. D. and Parks, G. T. (2019). Technology Assessment of Near-Term Open-Cycle Thorium-Fuelled Nuclear Energy Systems. In: Nayak, A. K. and Sehgal, B. R. eds. Thorium - Energy for the Future: Selected Papers from ThEC15. Springer, pp. 117–124.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2658-5_7

Abstract

As part of the RCUK–India civil nuclear research collaboration, British and Indian researchers have assessed the merits and disadvantages of, and potential for, open-cycle thorium–uranium-fuelled (Th–U-fuelled) nuclear energy systems. The research centred on fuel cycle modelling and life-cycle assessment of three Th–U-fuelled nuclear energy systems and compared these to a reference uranium-fuelled nuclear energy system, all operating with open nuclear fuel cycles. The results indicate that thorium-based fuels offer little benefit over conventional uranium-fuelled approaches for open-cycle nuclear energy production. This paper provides an overview on the project and stresses overarching conclusions.

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