The reactor is equipped withpassive shutdown systems, core heat removal through natural circulation, emergency core coolant system (ECCS) and gravity-driven water pool (GDWP), a large tank of borated water on top of the primary containment of vessel. It can operate for 120 days without operator - that’s 4 months without anyone controlling it. And did we mention the design life: this reactor will last some 100 years.
The plan is to have a 300MW prototype in operation by 2016 and then expand thereafter. By 2050, thorium should meet 30% of India’s electricity demand.
The completion of the AHWR design is an important step towards reducing the import of fossil fuels and combat climate change.
To learn more about India’s Thorium Energy Program, have a look at their three presentations from ThEC13 in Geneva below, which contain a wealth of information (click on the title to see the slides as you watch the video):
Towards Sustainable Secure and Safe Energy Future Leveraging Opportunities with Thorium by Anil Kakodkar, BARC, India
Recycling Challenges of Thorium-based Fuels by PK Wattal, BARC, India
Overview of the Thorium Programme in India by Pallippattu Krishnan Vijayan, BARC, India
Design of World's first Thorium based nuclear reactor is ready, by India Today