Rye wrote:Thanks, Ramana. So it makes sense that the Thorium only be used in the fuel cycle arising from the "military" program -- no point creating U-233 from the Indigenous Thorium and then placing them under IAEA safeguards, when Uranium under IAEA safeguards is going to be available from the NSG countries.
There is a picture on page 13 of the document below that helped me look at the big picture. It shows schematically the three-stage process (though of course no ADS).
Thorium fuel cycle...
Using imported fuel will only be possible on the safeguarded side as will any derivative from it.
So reprocessing imported fuel (and here I mean the recovery of Pu/Dep. U as in Figure 1), would make little sense unless we plan to develop a fuel cycle on the civilian side. Would that be the three-stage process, so we can start leveraging our thorium reserves?
If so, until we can bring the FBR and AHWR to the civil side, what do we do with the reprocessing option? When we do bring FBR/AWHR under safegaurds, how do we protect them?
I am not sure I understand exactly how this deal relieves us from the civil/military crunch. The Pu stock that we produce on the unsafeguarded side will have to be split between strategic reserve and doing the three step. Does this mean that the three-step process is unsafeguarded till we can perfect and protect that technology, but when it is ready to become operational on a large-scale we will turn that over to the civil side?
Then, again, the whole thing comes under IAEA, which seems problematic. If we don't turn it over to civil side, how does the three-stage help resolve the civil power needs? If we run a separate unsafeguarded three-stage, where does the driving U for both civilian power and strategic needs come from? Would we not be where we are now, only with a pile of imported fuel that we can reprocess but not be able to do much with, and with a dependence on imported fuel that lasts in perpetuity?
I am reading up here, but if someone can point to or clarify, I'd be grateful.