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Thread: The U.S. Government Made a Powerful New Kind of Nuclear Fuel

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    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    The U.S. Government Made a Powerful New Kind of Nuclear Fuel

    It's part uranium, part thorium, and it may just save America's nuclear program.

    The mix itself is a secret, but thorium—pictured above in pellet form—has continued to gain momentum as an alternative nuclear fuel.

    “[T]horium has a higher melting point and lower operating temperature which makes it inherently safer than straight U and more resistant to core meltdowns,” Conca explains:

    “The ANEEL fuel has a very high fuel burn-up rate[, which] means the fuel stays in the reactor longer and gets more energy out of the same amount of fuel. [It’s] prohibitively difficult to make into a weapon. [And] ANEEL fuel will reduce the waste by over 80% and end up with much less plutonium. Less spent fuel means less refueling, less cost, less fuel handling and less volume to dispose.”

    Thorium has a number of advantages over uranium, and especially over highly enriched uranium. Yes, thorium must be paired with at least a small amount of a fissile material, because it isn’t naturally fissile on its own. But it’s much more plentiful than uranium and found in high quantities in the kinds of developing markets where Conca says nuclear will be clutch in coming decades—starting with India.
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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Yay!

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    They need to quit their paranoia about reprocessing.

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