Quick Answer: How Much Would A Thorium Reactor Cost?

What thorium is used for?

Thorium is also used to strengthen magnesium, coating tungsten wire in electrical equipment, controlling the grain size of tungsten in electric lamps, high-temperature crucibles, in glasses, in camera and scientific instrument lenses, and is a source of nuclear power, according to Los Alamos..

Are there any working thorium reactors?

As of 2020, there are no operational thorium reactors in the world. A nuclear reactor consumes certain specific fissile isotopes to produce energy. … Most nuclear power has been generated using low-enriched uranium (LEU), whereas high-enriched uranium (HEU) is necessary for weapons.

Can I buy thorium?

Thorium is a common element widely distributed across the earth and typically concentrated in the heavy sands which serve as ores for the rare earth metals. Look high, look low and nowhere can a person buy a gram or two of this “common” metal. …

Does thorium produce waste?

According to some toxicity studies, the thorium cycle can fully recycle actinide wastes and only emit fission product wastes, and after a few hundred years, the waste from a thorium reactor can be less toxic than the uranium ore that would have been used to produce low enriched uranium fuel for a light water reactor of …

Can thorium be weaponized?

Although some wonder if thorium can be used in nuclear weapons and are concerned about the possibility of a thorium bomb, thorium actually can’t be weaponized because it doesn’t produce enough recoverable plutonium, which is required for building nuclear weapons.

How much does thorium cost?

The fuel cost is significantly lower than a solid-fuel reactor. The salts cost roughly $150/kg, and thorium costs about $30/kg. If thorium becomes popular, this cost will only decrease as thorium is widely available anywhere in the earth’s crust.

Is nuclear cheaper than solar?

Nuclear is also much more expensive, the WNISR report said. The cost of generating solar power ranges from $36 to $44 per megawatt hour (MWh), the WNISR said, while onshore wind power comes in at $29–$56 per MWh. Nuclear energy costs between $112 and $189.

What is the smallest nuclear reactor?

Bilibino Nuclear power plant (NPP) in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia, houses the world’s smallest commercial nuclear reactor. The plant, owned and operated by state-owned Rosenergoatom, is equipped with four EGP-6 light water graphite reactors (LWGR) with gross power capacity of 12MWe each.

Are we running out of uranium?

According to the NEA, identified uranium resources total 5.5 million metric tons, and an additional 10.5 million metric tons remain undiscovered—a roughly 230-year supply at today’s consumption rate in total. … Breeder reactors could match today’s nuclear output for 30,000 years using only the NEA-estimated supplies.

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.

Which country has highest thorium reserves?

IndiaBoth the IAEA and OECD appear to conclude that India may possess the largest share of world’s thorium deposits. The IAEA’s 2005 report estimates India’s reasonably assured reserves of thorium at 319,000 tonnes, but mentions recent reports of India’s reserves at 650,000 tonnes.

Where can I get thorium?

The most common source of thorium is the rare earth phosphate mineral, monazite, which contains up to about 12% thorium phosphate, but 6-7% on average. Monazite is found in igneous and other rocks but the richest concentrations are in placer deposits, concentrated by wave and current action with other heavy minerals.

Why are there no thorium reactors?

Thorium doesn’t work as well as U-Pu in a fast reactor. While U-233 an excellent fuel in the thermal spectrum, it is between U-235 and Pu-239 in the fast spectrum. So for reactors that require excellent neutron economy (such as breed-and-burn concepts), Thorium is not ideal.

How much does a small nuclear reactor cost?

Companies that are planning new nuclear units are currently indicating that the total costs (including escalation and financing costs) will be in the range of $5,500/kW to $8,100/kW or between $6 billion and $9 billion for each 1,100 MW plant.

How dangerous is thorium?

Thorium is radioactive and can be stored in bones. Because of these facts it has the ability to cause bone cancer many years after the exposure has taken place. Breathing in massive amounts of thorium may be lethal. People will often die of metal poisoning when massive exposure take place.