The use of Th in HTR: State of the art and implementation in Th/Pu fuel cycles

Guido Mazzini, Eleonora Bomboni, Nicola Cerullo, Emil Fridman, Guglielmo Lomonaco, Eugene Shwageraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Nowadays nuclear is the only greenhouse-free source that can appreciably respond to the increasing worldwide energy demand. The use of Thorium in the nuclear energy production may offer some advantages to accomplish this task. Extensive R&D on the thorium fuel cycle has been conducted in many countries around the world. Starting from the current nuclear waste policy, the EU-PUMA project focuses on the potential benefits of using the HTR core as a Pu/MA transmuter. In this paper the following aspects have been analysed: (1) the state-of-the-art of the studies on the use of Th in different reactors, (2) the use of Th in HTRs, with a particular emphasis on Th-Pu fuel cycles, (3) an original assessment of Th-Pu fuel cycles in HTR. Some aspects related to Thorium exploitation were outlined, particularly its suitability for working in pebble-bed HTR in a Th-Pu fuel cycle. The influence of the Th/Pu weight fraction at BOC in a typical HTR pebble was analysed as far as the reactivity trend versus burn-up, the energy produced per Pu mass, and the Pu isotopic composition at EOC are concerned. Although deeper investigations need to be performed in order to draw final conclusions, it is possible to state that some optimized Th percentage in the initial Pu/Th fuel could be suggested on the basis of the aim we are trying to reach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number749736
JournalScience and Technology of Nuclear Installations
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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