Inderscience Publishers

Strategy for combining fast growth in electricity generation capacity with the early introduction of the thorium cycle in India

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The purpose of this paper is to describe a strategy for combining fast growth in electricity generation capacity, with the early introduction of the thorium cycle in India. Three types of Liquid Metal Cooled Fast Breeder Reactors (LMFBRs) are considered: LMFBR 1, with plutonium/depleted uranium driver zones and depleted uranium blankets; LMFBR 2, with self-sustaining plutonium/depleted uranium driver zones and depleted uranium axial blankets, while the radial thorium blanket produces excess U 233; LMFBR 3, with U233-Th driver zones and Th blankets. The strategy suggested is a combination of 50% LMFBR 1 and 50% of a symbiotic mix of LMFBR 2 and LMFBR 3 all the three using metal fuel. With this strategy, the delay in reaching an installed electrical capacity of 350 GWe is likely to be only about 15 years beyond the approximately 50 years envisaged with only metal fuelled LMFBR 1.

Keywords: fast breeder reactors, nuclear energy, electricity generation, power generation capacity, India, LMFBR, nuclear fuel cycle, pressurized heavy water reactors, PHWR, strategies, nuclear power programme, thorium cycle, thorium use

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