Future Nuclear Reactors

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Future nuclear reactors
Country Tonnes
India 846,000
Turkey 744,000
Brazil 606,000
Australia 521,000
USA 434,000
Egypt 380,000
Norway 320,000
Venezuela 300,000
Canada 172,000
Russia 155,000
South Africa 148,000
China 100,000
Greenland 86,000
Finland 60,000
Sweden 50,000
Kazakhstan 50,000
Other countries 413,000
World total 5,385,000

Thorium is a naturally occurring metal that occurs in a single isotopic form Th-232. ‘Thorium has an half-life three time the age of the earth’ (David Hess 2014, world nuclear association), it was discovered in 1828 by a Swedish chemist named Jons Jacobs Berzelius, he discovered that the metal had radioactive properties and decided to name it after the god of thunder Thor. Thorium is three times more abundant than uranium, it’s found in soil and rocks in small amount, its average amount in soil is 6 parts per million.
Thorium is a silvery white metal that can lustre for several months. But when thorium is contaminated by oxide, it tarnishes slowly and eventually will become a black colour. Thorium oxide has the highest melting point at 3300°c which is the highest of all oxides, when it combusts it gives of a brilliant white light.
Thorium-232 cannot be used as a fissile fuel when it is found as a natural source. But when it has a neutron added to it, it becomes uranium-233 which makes a great fissile fuel in a thermal neutron reactor. Thorium fuels need fissile driver so a continuous reaction can be maintained. The only fissile drivers that can be use are U-233, U-235 and Pu-239, these are very hard to find.
Thorium can be used in several different reactors like Heavy Water reactor, fast neuron reactor, High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor, Boiling Water Reactor, Pressurised Water Reactor, Molten Sal...

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...has only be scale models made of ITER Tokamak and theories have shown that it should work. Construction for this would take four years with 1.5 million man hours it contains an estimated one million components, this has been carefully planned out that it should be ready for use by 2019 (ITER organization, 2014).


Iter.org. 2014. ITER - the way to new energy. [Online] Available at: https://www.iter.org/ [Accessed: 27 Mar 2014].
Lasers.llnl.gov. 2014. Bringing Star Power to Earth. [Online] Available at: https://lasers.llnl.gov/ [Accessed: 25 Mar 2014].
Wikipedia. 2014. National Ignition Facility. [Online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Ignition_Facility [Accessed: 24 Mar 2014].
World-nuclear.org. 2014. Thorium. [Online] Available at: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/current-and-future-generation/thorium/ [Accessed: 25 Mar 2014].

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