Shifting over to use of thorium as nuclear fuel will not end dependence on imports, says Govt
Natural uranium, which is imported, contains fissile isotopes (U-235) that undergoes nuclear fission in a reactor to produce energy.
Natural uranium, which is imported, contains fissile isotopes (U-235) that undergoes nuclear fission in a reactor to produce energy. It is not possible to build a nuclear reactor using thorium (Th-232) alone, since it has to be converted to U-233 in a reactor before it can be used as fuel, Jitendra Singh, the minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), said while replying to a question in the Lower House.
India has vast quantities of thorium, a weakly-radioactive metallic chemical element. Due to this, Dr. Homi Bhabha, the father of the Indian nuclear programme, envisaged a three-stage nuclear programme.
The country currently imports uranium from Kazakhstan, Russia, and Canada for its pressurized heavy-water reactors (PHWR) and two boiling-water reactors.
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