Uranium Fuel Cycle vs. Thorium 1000 MW of electricity for one year
-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
Thorium introduced into blanket of fluoride reactor; completely converted to uranium-233 and “burned”
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