India and Thorium

DAE explained in a recent response to aa parliamentary question that the country’s thorium “is available in Monazite, a Prescribed Substance as per the Atomic Energy Act 1962. Monazite is found in association with suite of six other atomic minerals..”

The department provided more detail about the country’s Thorium program :

Development of technologies pertaining to utilisation of thorium has been a part of ongoing R & D activities in Department of Atomic Energy so that a mature technology is in place, well before the beginning of the large scale deployment of the thorium based reactors. With sustained efforts over the years, India has gained experience in different areas of thorium fuel cycle. Large scale thorium utilisation is contemplated after a few decades of large scale deployment of Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs). In order to develop and demonstrate technologies for thorium based fuel, Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) has been designed by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). It is also having advanced safety and passive engineered systems which enhance its safety. Efforts are currently on to enlarge the present thorium related R&D work and activities to a bigger scale and towards development of technologies for the third stage of our nuclear power programme.


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