Comparison with Uranium?

Despite the care that took the companies building nuclear power plants, the design of those reactors is still that of a "controlled bomb". The history has shown that it was not the best choice made.

In 1979, accident at Three Mile Island (USA). The  contention space between the core and the open air prevented radioactive dissemination.

In 1986, the accident of Tchernobyl (USSR) was due to a test which ended up dramatically.

In 2011, a tsunami destroyed the plant of Fukushima (JP) by the destruction of the auxiliary cooling unit.



Thorium has been used in specific industrial reactors. But is has also been used in existing Uranium reactors, reducing the quantity of bad waste produced. By now, Thorium is still used in pre-commercial prototypes.

industrial use of Thorium

The biggest industrial utilisation of Thorium has involved in the technology of Pebble Bed Reactor. 

In 1967, the first Thorium reactor, called AVR Arbeitsgemeinschaft VersuchsReaktor, was started at Jullich (D). It had a power of 15MWe and operated from 1967 to 1988. It was a high temperature reactor which heated Helium (He) to a temperature of 990°C.

In 1985, Germany  started the Thorium-HTR at Uentrop. This plant called THTR300 had a power of 300 MWe. It was operated from 1985 to 1989, and was stopped after a mechanical problem which appeared 1 week after Tchernobyl . Electricity was generated by a gas turbine where Helium was introduced at a temperature of 750°C

The project of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) was started at Koeberg near Cape Town (ZA) in 1995. The intended power was 165 MWe but the project was abandoned at the end of 2010 due to insufficient financial resources.

In 2003, the Chinese university of Tsinghua started a 10 MWe reactor called HTR-10, and intended to prepare a commercial modular installation of around 210 MWe, the HTR-PM