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Europhysics News 38 (2007) 24-27
Revisiting the thorium-uranium nuclear fuel cycle
S. David1, E. Huffer2, H. Nifenecker2

The thorium-uranium nuclear fuel cycle, in which the main fissile nucleus is uranium 233 and fuel regeneration is ensured through neutron capture on thorium 232 offers many potential advantages as compared to the better known uranium-plutonium fuel cycle. These include, in particular, reduced high activity long lived waste production and less likelihood of nuclear proliferation.A brief description of the nuclear reactors being considered for this fuel cycle is given.We show also that a strategy can be put together to constitute the initial uranium 233 supply for such reactors, using today's pressurized water reactors and a thorium and plutonium mixed oxide fuel.
1 :  IPNO - Institut de Physique Nucléaire d'Orsay
2 :  LPSC - Laboratoire de Physique Subatomique et de Cosmologie
Physique/Physique Nucléaire Expérimentale