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Re: Paper Ignored Thorium
J.A.L. Robertson’s point that we ignored thorium in the paper “Nuclear Fuel Can be Considered as Inexhaustible” is well taken by H. Douglas Lightfoot in the September issue.
I’ve long been intrigued by another strategy contemplated by AECL to produce fissile fuel from fertile uranium or thorium. Dan Meneley mentions this accelerator driven concept in his article “Transition to Large Scale Nuclear Energy Supply” in the September issue. It seems we have almost forgotten that any of this work involving thorium and other fuel cycle concepts was ever done. We need to be reminded of the feasibility and practicality of paths to inexhaustible nuclear energy.
As a memory jog, I list some published reports I’ve encountered over the years.
Bartholomew, G. A., J. S. Fraser, and P.M. Garvey, Accelerator Breeder Concept, AECL 6363, INFCE/WG.8/CNA/DOC1, October 1978, 39 pp.
Fraser, J. S., C.R. Hoffman, S. O. Schriber, P.M. Garvey and B. M. Townes, A Review of Prospects for an Accelerator Breeder, AECL-7260, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, December 1981, 40 pp.
Schriber, S. O., ZEBRA, The First Stage of an Accelerator Breeder Program, ISSN 0227-1907, Proceedings, 4th Annual Conference, CNS, Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, Canada, June 15, 1983, 19pp.
The decline of petroleum and the need for replacement energy is becoming a fashionable topic again. Perhaps scientists and engineers involved with accelerator breeders and other alternative fuel cycles would be interested in sharing their knowledge and experience. If the nuclear industry has forgotten the enormous potential of nuclear fission energy, we can be sure the rest of the world has hardly heard of it.