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India plans 'safer' nuclear plant powered by thorium | Environment | The Guardian

In a rare interview, Ratan Kumar Sinha, the director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai, told the Guardian that his team is finalising the site for construction of the new large-scale experimental reactor, while at the same time conducting "confirmatory tests" on the design.

"The basic physics and engineering of the thorium-fuelled Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) are in place, and the design is ready," said Sinha.

Once the six-month search for a site is completed - probably next to an existing nuclear power plant - it will take another 18 months to obtain regulatory and environmental impact clearances before building work on the site can begin.

"Construction of the AHWR will begin after that, and it would take another six years for the reactor to become operational," Sinha added, meaning that if all goes to plan, the reactor could be operational by the end of the decade. The reactor is designed to generate 300MW of electricity - about a quarter of the output of a typical new nuclear plant in the west.

A 300 MW prototype plant in 2020 which is not even liquid salt? I won't hold my breath.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Dec 8th, 2011 at 03:29:09 PM EST
What does "which is not even molten salt" mean there? India has experience with pressurized heavy water reactors ~ they opened plants 3 and 4 at Tarapur in 2005 and 2006. Do they have any similar experience with a molten salt reactor?

It seems likely that if they are going to get there by 2020, it'd have to be with a pressurized heavy water reactor similar to the unenriched uranium fuel cycle plant they have already had experience building and operating.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Dec 8th, 2011 at 03:50:49 PM EST
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