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Thorium Fuel Cycle - Potential Benefits and Challenges

English IAEA-TECDOC-1450 92-0-103405-9
112 15.00 2005

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There has been significant interest among Member States in developing advanced and innovative technologies for safe, proliferation resistant and economically efficient nuclear fuel cycles, while minimizing waste and environmental impacts. This publication provides a critical review of the thorium fuel cycle: potential benefits and challenges in the thorium fuel cycle, mainly based on the latest developments at the front end of the fuel cycle, applying thorium fuel cycle options, and at the back end of the thorium fuel cycle. The aim is to address the benefits and challenges faced at the front and back ends of the thorium fuel cycle, highlighting fuel fabrication, reprocessing and waste management. In addition, this publication provides an insight into the reasons for renewed interest in the thorium fuel cycle, different implementation scenarios and options for the thorium cycle, and an update of the information base on thorium fuels and fuel cycles.

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