Harnessing Thorium for Clean Energy Future: Challenges Ahead
Resolution of conflict between growing energy needs and threat of climate change necessitates a rapid transition to non-fossil energy sources of which nuclear energy is an essential key component. For a country like India which is endowed with abundant Thorium resources and only modest Uranium resources, harnessing Thorium for her energy needs has been a key development objective. Even for other countries, Thorium presents an attractive nuclear energy alternative that has the advantage of greater safety and larger resource base as well as higher proliferation resistance. While the optimised solution for harnessing Thorium over the long term could take time, there are opportunities to get started with Thorium almost immediately using established nuclear power reactor technologies and address some of the barriers to growth of nuclear energy utilising the advantages that Thorium can offer. This would also enable scaling up our experience with Thorium and facilitate transition from Uranium to Thorium at the contemporary scale of operation whenever such a change is contemplated.
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