The first thorium salt reactors in over 40 years were just switched on in Europe – ScienceAlert

Netherlands-based nuclear power provider, NRG, are taking a gamble. They’re conducting experiments that could see a shift from uranium-based nuclear power to thorium.

There has been the historical battle between using uranium or thorium as a nuclear fuel. Uranium provided a potential source of weapons-grade plutonium.

A significant advantage of using thorium over uranium is it doesn’t produce the same kinds of heavy isotopes, meaning its waste is considerably less toxic over long time scales and not suitable for weapons. And there are other benefits.

With all of these pros, it seems like switching from uranium would be a certain bet.

For nations like China, a growing nuclear power industry could see thorium as a sweeter deal. India is another country already marching ahead.


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