India has both the world’s largest thorium reserves and program to utilize it. The program is famously divided into three stages of which the ‘ready to be built’ Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) is the beginning of the third stage.
In the newly published Thorium Energy Report (Thorium Energy Report) India reported that it has initiated studies on a conceptual design of the Indian Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (IMBSR).
One of the most efficient systems to utilise uranium-233 is the self-sustaining Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs). This is being considered as an attractive option for large-scale deployment in the third stage and studies on conceptual design of the Indian Molten Salt Breeder Reactors (IMSBR) have been initiated', as stated by India.
The design will build on the accumulated experience from the AHWR as well as India’s previous research on Molten Salt Reactors. If India can learn to master the molten salt reactor technology as well, it could become the most efficient thorium reactor in India’s portfolio and make the country’s thorium resources last even longer.
China was the first country to announce a program aiming at thorium fuelled molten salt reactors in the beginning of 2011. India’s plan to use the MSR technology in the large-scale deployment of thorium is the second big announcement in the field. This is great news, and we hope to see it spur competition and collaboration from other nations to speed up technology development.
We are keen to follow up on India’s MSR progress and look forward to learn more about it at ThEC15 in Mumbai, India.
Read more about the Indian and Chinese programs, amongst others, in the newly published Thorium Energy Report.