Advertisement

Thorium Technology Development in an Indian Perspective

  • A. K. Nayak
  • Arun KumarEmail author
  • P. S. Dhami
  • C. K. Asnani
  • P. Singh
Conference paper

Abstract

To meet the large energy demand in India, nuclear energy is vital which is not only a clean, green source of energy but also the high capacity factor and long life of plant make it a competitive source with other green sources of energy. India has one of the largest reserves of thorium in the world. It is well recognized that this fuel shall play a major role in India’s nuclear power programme to produce a significant fraction of energy. However, thorium being a fertile material cannot be used directly unlike, for example, natural uranium which has U-235 fissile content. Thus, thorium needs an external feed of Pu-239 or U-233 for burning in the reactor. In view of the above, India has adopted a closed fuel cycle approach in its three-stage nuclear power programme. For burning thorium in a closed fuel cycle, several technologies need to be developed and demonstrated for commercial viability. India has worked a lot in this context right from fuel fabrication to reprocessing. This manuscript summarizes a brief review of the technology developed in India and past experiences for thorium utilization in Indian nuclear programme.

References

  1. 1.
    Human Development Report 2015 Access to Energy and Human Development, UNDP (2015)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
    Energy Statistics 2012 Central Statistics Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
    I. Pioro, Handbook of Generation IV Nuclear Reactors (Woodhead Publishing). eBook ISBN: 9780081001622, Hardcover ISBN: 9780081001493 ImprintGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    S.A. Bhardwaj, Indian Nuclear Power Programme—The Role of Thorium and The Challenges Ahead, A Plenary Talk, NCPTh-2014, 22–24 Dec 2014, NUB, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    P.D. Krishnani, Physics Considerations for Utilisation of Thorium in Power Reactors, Lecture, ThEC-15, 12–15 Oct 2015, NUB, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    A. Kakodkar, Opportunities with Thorium in Global Context, A Plenary Talk, NCPTh-2014, 22–24 Dec 2014, NUB, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    A. Kakodkar, Harnessing Thorium for Nuclear Power: Challenges Ahead, A Plenary Talk, ThEC-15, 12–15 Oct 2015, NUB, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    C.K. Asnani, R.N. Patra, Thorium ‘Mining, Extraction and Purification’—Indian Context, Lecture, NCPTh-2014, 22–24 Dec 2014, NUB, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    G.K. Dey, Determination of Thermal Expansion & Thermal Conductivity of (Th,Ce)O2 MOX: A Combined Theoretical & Experimental Approach, Lecture, NCPTh-2014, 22–24 Dec 2014, NUB, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    A. Kumar, Challenges in Manufacturing of Thorium based Fuels, Lecture, NCPTh-2014, 22–24 Dec 2014, NUB, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    C. Srinivas, M.A. Rao, S.B. Shinde, S.A. Khot, BARC Internal Report—BARC/2015/I/014—Wet Recycling Process for Reject (Th,U)O2 FuelGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    C.G.S. Pillai, P. Raj, Thermal conductivity of ThO2 and Th0.98U0.02O2. J. Nucl. Mater. 277, 116–119 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    D. Jain et al., Thermal diffusivity and thermal conductivity of thoria–lanthana solid solutions up to 10 mol.% LaO1.5. J. Nucl. Mater. 353, 35–41 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    T.K. Basu, M. Srinivasan, Thorium Fuel Cycle Development Activities in India, M 1990 BARC-1532 (1990)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    P.K. Vijayan, A. Basak, V. Shivakumar, Advantages and Challenges of Thorium Based Power Reactors, Lecture, NCPTh-2014, 22–24 Dec 2014, NUB, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    M. Srinivasan, K. Chandramoleshwar, C.S. Pasupathy, K.K. Rasheed, K. Subba Rao, U-233 fuelled experimental reactors in India—PURNIMA-II and KAMINI, in Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Systems, Madrid, Spain, 30 June–4 July 1986Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    K. Balakrishnan, K. Kakodkar, Optimization of the initial fuel loading of the Indian PHWR with thorium bundles for achieving full power. Ann. Nucl. Energy 21, 1–9 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    G. Srinivasan, Irradiation of Thorium in FBTR, Lecture, ThEC-15, 12–15 Oct 2015, NUB, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    J.L. Singh, Post Irradiation Examination of Thoria Mixed Oxide Fuels in Indian Hot Cells, Lecture, NCPTh-2014, 22–24 Dec 2014, NUB, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    S. Banerjee, H.P. Gupta, Nuclear Power from Thorium: Different Options, A Plenary Talk, NCPTh-2014, 22–24 Dec 2014, NUB, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    R.K. Sinha, A. Kakodkar, Design and development of the AHWR—the Indian thorium fuelled innovative nuclear reactor. Nucl. Eng. Des. 236, 683–700 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    A. Thakur, et al., Fuel cycle flexibility in advanced heavy water reactor (AHWR) with the use of Th-LEU fuel, in International Conference on Future of Heavy Water Reactors (HWR-Future), Ottwa, Canada (2011)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    P.K. Vijayan, et al., Conceptual design of Indian molten salt breeder reactor. PRAMANA J. Phys. 85(3) (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    F. Carmini, R. Klapisch, J.P. Revol, J.A. Rubio, C. Rubia, CERN AT/93–47 (ET) C. Rubia, et al., CERN/AT/95-44 (ET), CERN/LHC/96-0 (EET), CERN/AT/95-53 (ET), CERN/LHC/97-01 (EET)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    C.D. Bowman, et al., Nucl. Instrum. Methods A320, 336 (1992); C.D. Bowman, Ann. Rev. Nucl. Part. Sci. 48, 505 (1998)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    S.S. Kapoor, BARC Report BARC/2001/R/004Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    P. Singh, S.V.L.S. Rao, R. Pande, T. Basak, S. Roy, M. Aslam, P. Jain, S.C.L. Srivastava, R. Kumar, P.K. Nema, S. Kailas, V.C. Sahni, Pramana J. Phys. 68, 331 (2007); R. Pande, S. Roy, S.V.L. S Rao, P. Singh, S. Kailas, Pramana J. Phys. 78, 247 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    P. Singh, Thorium Utilization in ADS, Lecture, NCPTh-2014, 22–24 Dec 2014, NUB, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    P. Singh, Proceedings of Indian Particle Accelerator Conference (InPAC2013), VECC, Kolkata (Nov 2013)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    S.V.L.S. Rao, P. Singh, Pramana J. Phys. 74, 247 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    S. Roy, R. Pande, S.V.L.S. Rao, S. Krishnagopal, P. Singh. J. Instrum. 10, 11008 (2015)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    P. Satyamurthy, L.M. Gantayet, A.K. Ray, Pramana J. Phys. 68, 343 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    S.B. Degweker et al. Ann. Nucl. Energy 26, 123 (1999); O.V. Shvedov et al. IAEA-TECDOC 985, D4.1, 313 (1987)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    N. Srinivasan, M.N. Nadkarni, G.R. Balasubramaniam, R.T. Chitnis, H.R. Siddiqui, Pilot Plant for the Separation of 233U at Trombay, BARC-643 (1970)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    G.R. Balasubramaniam, R.T. Chitnis, A. Ramanujam, M. Venkatesan, Laboratory Studies on the Recovery of Uranium 233 from Irradiated Thorium by Solvent Extraction Using 5% TBP Shell Sol-T as Solvent, BARC report-940 (1977)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    R.R. Chitnis, P.S. Dhami, A. Ramanujam, V.P. Kansara, Recovery of 233U from Irradiated Thorium Fuel in Thorex Process Using 2%TBP as Extractant, BARC Report BARC/2001/E/030Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    A. Mukherjee; R.T. Kulkarni, S.G. Rege, P.V. Achuthan, Anion exchange separation of uranium from thorium for the tail-end purification of 233U in Thorex process, in Radiochemistry and Radiation Chemistry Symposium, Pune, India, 7–11 Dec, Paper No. SC-12 (1982)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    R.T. Chitnis, K.G. Rajappan, S.V. Kumar, M.N. Nadkarni, Cation Exchange Separation of Uranium from Thorium, BARC Report-BARC-1003 (1979)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    P.V. Achuthan, C. Janardanan, N. Vijayakumar, P.V.E. Kutty, A. Mukherjee, A. Ramanujam, Studies on the Separation of Thorium and Uranium on Variously Cross Linked Dowex 50W Resins, BARC Report BARC/1993/E/09(1993)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    A. Ramanujam, P.S. Dhami, V. Gopalakrishnan, A. Mukherjee, R.K. Dhumwad, Separation and Purification of Uranium Product from Thorium in Thorex Process by Precipitation Technique, BARC-1496 (1989)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    P. Govindan, A. Palamalai, K.S. Vijayan, M. Raja, S. Parthasarathy, S.V. Mohan, R.V. Subba Rao, Purification of 233U from thorium and iron in the reprocessing of irradiated thorium oxide rods. J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem. 246(4), 412 (2000)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    G.R. Balasubramaniam, Reprocessing of irradiated thorium—Indian experience, in M. Srinivasan, I. Kimura (eds.) Thorium Utilisation, Proceedings of Indo-Japan Seminar on Thorium Utilisation: 65: Mumbai, India (1990)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    P. K. Vijayan, S.S. Shinde, U. Jambunathan, A. Ramanujam, Studies on the dissolution of sintered thoria pellets in HNO3 + Al(NO3)3 mixture containing HF and NaF, INSAC-2000, vol. 2, pp. 148 (2000)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    N.M. Sinalkar, C. Janardanan, K. Vijayan, S.S. Shinde, U. Jambunathan, A. Ramanujam, Studies on the dissolution characteristics of sintered thoria (ThO2-4%PuO2 pellet, in Nuclear and Radiochemistry Symposium, 2001, University of Pune, 7–10 Feb, p. 210, (2001)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    C. Srinivas, V. Yalmali, A.S. Pente, P.K. Wattal, S.D. Misra, Thoria/Thoria-Urania Dissolution Studies for Reprocessing Application, BARC/2012/E/007Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    P.S. Dhami, P.W. Naik, N.L. Dudwadkar, P. Jagasia, R. Kannan, P.V. Achuthan, A. Dakshinamooorthy, S.K. Munshi, P.K. Dey, Studies on the Physico-Chemical Parameters of Extraction and Stripping of Thorium nitrate from THOREX Raffinate Using 38%TBP in n-dodecane, BARC/2008/E/010 (2008)Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    P.S. Dhami, P. Jagasia, S. Panja, P.V. Achuthan, S.C. Tripathi, S.K. Munshi, P.K. Dey, Studies on the development of a flow-sheet for AHWR spent fuel reprocessing using TBP. Sepn. Sci. Tech. 45, 1147 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    P.S. Dhami, P. Jagasia, S. Panja, P.W. Naik, P.V. Achuthan, S.C. Tripathi, S.K. Munshi, P.K. Dey, Validation of the flow-sheet proposed for reprocessing of AHWR spent fuel: counter-current studies using TBP. Desalination Water Treat. 38, 184 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. K. Nayak
    • 1
  • Arun Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. S. Dhami
    • 1
  • C. K. Asnani
    • 2
  • P. Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Bhabha Atomic Research CentreMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Indian Rare Earths LimitedMumbaiIndia

Personalised recommendations