June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Nuclear and Radiological
24.1261.1 - 24.1261.29
Thorium Fuel Cycle for a Molten Salt Reactor: State of Missouri Feasibility Study Thorium was uncovered long ago amongst the waste products of several mining operations inthe state of Missouri. Recently, the feasibility of using thorium as an alternative to uranium-based nuclear fuel is gaining global interest. Due to potential security issues surrounding theuranium fuel cycle and the environmental concerns posed by fossil fuel-based power, there isrenewed interest in mining and utilizing thorium as a nuclear fuel because of its economy,natural abundance and non-proliferation credentials. Research on thorium nuclear fuels in conjunction with molten salt reactor technology isunderway in countries with large thorium reserves, such as, India, China and Russia but to alesser extent, the United States. The molten salt reactor is one of the most promising nuclearreactor designs being developed internationally. Molten salt reactors are currently one of sixGeneration IV reactor concepts with two basic variants: a reactor that uses salt as both fuel andcoolant and may have a fully closed fuel cycle or a molten salt cooled reactor that uses salt ascoolant only with a once-through fuel cycle. However, in the United States, most of the thoriumnuclear fuel and molten salt reactor research dates to the 1960s. The reactor designs were neverfully conceived due to a lack of financial backing and a perceived lack of military application forthorium fuel. Missouri is a leader in nuclear power due to the successfully operated Callawayplant and being home to one of the largest research reactors in the country. Missouri’s naturalresources and nuclear expertise create a unique potential for it to revisit, motivate and leadthorium nuclear fuel research in conjunction with development of molten salt reactor technologyfor the United States.
Lee, Y. J. J., & Simones, M. P., & Kennedy, J. C., & Us, H., & Makarewicz, P. F., & Neher, J. A., & Prelas, M. A. (2014, June), Thorium Fuel Cycle for a Molten Salt Reactor: State of Missouri Feasibility Study Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23194
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