Nuclear and materials aspects of the thorium fuel cycle

Rodriguez, P. ; Sundaram, C. V. (1981) Nuclear and materials aspects of the thorium fuel cycle Journal of Nuclear Materials, 100 (1-3). pp. 227-249. ISSN 0022-3115

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This paper is an attempt to assess and review the materials aspects of the thorium fuel cycle. It starts with an examination of the nuclear aspects of the thorium fuel cycle, meant as an introduction for materials scientists and engineers who may not normally be familiar with the concepts and terms involved. After defining and describing the thorium and uranium fuel cycles, the reasons for the resurgence of interest in the thorium fuel cycle and the technical and economic considerations that support its early adoption are examined. The reactor physics and fissile economics aspects of the thorium and uranium cycles are then compared. The specific reactor types suitable for the adoption of the thorium cycle are briefly examined and described. Subsequent sections of the paper are devoted to a detailed discussion of the materials aspects of the thorium fuel cycle. Available information on fabrication, refabrication and irradiation performance of thorium-based fuels for light water reactors, heavy water reactors, high temperature gas-cooled reactors, molten salt breeder reactors and fast breeder reactors is critically reviewed and analysed. Materials problems related to cladding and structural materials are also discussed whenever these are unique to the thorium cycle.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
ID Code:41760
Deposited On:31 May 2011 06:40
Last Modified:05 Jun 2011 10:46

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