Thorium- basics


– Thorium is more abundant in nature than uranium.
-It is fertile rather than fissile, and can only be used as a fuel in conjunction with a fissile material such as recycled plutonium.
-Thorium fuels can breed fissile uranium-233 to be used in various kinds of nuclear reactors.
– Molten salt reactors are well suited to thorium fuel, as normal fuel fabrication is avoided.

The use of thorium as a new primary energy source has been a tantalizing prospect for many years. Extracting its latent energy value in a cost-effective manner remains a challenge, and will require considerable R&D investment. This is occurring preeminently in China, with modest US support…
– Nature and sources of thorium

enlarge graphic>>  THORIUM- BASIC
– Thorium as a nuclear fuel
– Reactors able to use thorium
– Prior thorium-fuelled electricity generation
– Thorium energy R&D – past & present
– Developing a thorium-based fuel cycle
– Weapons and non-proliferation
– Thorium is not fissile – but fertile. In order to create a reactive thorium fuel capable of producing energy, some form of fresh

– Thorium will absorb neutrons in a thermal reactor and its reactivity will increase as its 233U content grows. It is possible to achieve

– Thorium itself generates essentially no plutonium, and no minor actinides as it burns – unlike uranium fuel. Thus, a thorium-plutonium fuel will achieve much greater

– Ceramic thorium oxide has excellent properties as a waste-form in its own right even after irradiation. It is highly insoluble, it is non-oxidizable and it retains both fission products and

– Thorium-plutonium fuels have good long-term radio-toxicity credentials. Modelling shows that the decay profiles for dose rates from thorium-plutonium spent fuels are essentially the same as

– Thorium fuel cycles are highly resistant to nuclear proliferative actions. Both open and closed thorium fueling options exhibit higher proliferation resistance than their corresponding uranium based cycles, as assessed by internationally recognized methodologies.



THORIUM- BASICS PERIODIC  <<click to enlarge graphic and learn more
The principal use of thorium is in the Welsbach mantle, which consists of thorium oxide amongst other compounds. This type of mantle glows with a dazzling flame when heated by gas, so is used in portable gas lights. Thorium is also an important alloying agent in magnesium, as it imparts greater strength and creep resistance at high temperatures. Thorium can be used as a source of nuclear power. It is about three times as abundant as uranium and…Read more>>

enlarge graphic>> DYK Thorium PERIODIC TABLE


What Is Thorium Nuclear Fuel?
Thorium is a basic element of nature, like Iron and Uranium. Like Uranium, its properties allow it to be used to fuel a nuclear chain reaction that can run a power plant and make electricity (among other things). Thorium itself will not split and release energy…Read more>>




THORIUM- BASICS NUCLEARVSCHEMICLEMankind struggled for thousands of years to come to a correct understanding of how matter was constructed. The notion that everything consisted of earth, air, water and fire eventually gave way in the 1700s to “atomic theory“—the notion that everything was made from tiny indivisible atoms. But the discovery of radioactivity in the late 1800s meant that there must be more to the atom than a hard little ball, and it wasn’t until the 1930s that the correct interpretation of the structure of the atom emerged…Continue reading>>



The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor-

The modern concept of the Liquid-Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) uses uranium and thorium dissolved in fluoride salts of lithium and beryllium. These salts are chemically stable, impervious to radiation damage, and non-corrosive to the vessels that contain them. Because of their ability to…Learn more>>

The Advantages
-Proliferation Resistance
-Energy Production
-Secondary Products

The Risks
-Thorium as a Fuel
-Turbine System
-Cost of Thorium
-Cost of Thorium Reactors



Thor Energy – The Norwegian Thorium Initiative-

Thor Energy’s technology development activities are undertaken with the vision that thorium-based fuels will be an attractive option for both light water reactor (LWR) operators and nuclear energy policy makers alike… Read more>>




Thorium Element Facts-
Data Zone
 Discovery of Thorium
Appearance and Characteristics
Uses of Thorium
Abundance and Isotopes


Frequently Asked Questions / Short Answers