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Uranium Fuel Cycle vs. Thorium 1000 MW of electricity for one year

250 tons

Natural uranium

35 tons

Enriched Uranium

(Costly Process)

215 tons

depleted uranium

-disposal plans uncertain

Uranium-235 content is “burned” out of the fuel; some plutonium is formed and burned

35 tons Spent Fuel

Yucca Mountain (~10,000 years)

33.4 t uranium-238

0.3 t uranium-235

0.3 t plutonium

1.0 t fission products

1 ton

Natural Thorium

Thorium introduced into blanket of fluoride reactor; completely converted to uranium-233 and “burned”

1 Ton

Fission products; no uranium, plutonium, or other actinides

Within 10 years, 83% of fission products are stable and can be partitioned and sold.

The remaining 17% fission products go to geologic isolation for ~300 years.

800,000 tons Ore

200 tons Ore

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