Advertisement

The iThEC Strategy

  • Jean-Pierre RevolEmail author
Conference paper

Abstract

Fossil fuels are present in finite quantity in the Earth’s crust and will therefore run out rather soon on a human timescale. In addition, burning fossil fuels contributes to global warming and has a tremendous health impact through atmospheric pollution. Fossils fuels have to be replaced as energy sources as soon as possible. However, achieving this requires a major and systematic R&D effort. This R&D effort must not be biased; it must include nuclear energy, which is abundant, is energy intensive, produces no greenhouse gases or air pollution, and still has a great potential for improvement. The international Thorium Energy Committee (iThEC) is at the origin of two new initiatives in this domain: a first fast-neutron ADS experiment of substantial power (≥1 MW), at INR Troitsk in Russia, with the goal of demonstrating the possibility of destroying nuclear waste, using it as fuel in a thorium matrix, and a highly innovative high-power proton accelerator based on superconducting cyclotron technology. These two projects are well within the reach of present technologies and would constitute important milestones in the development of intensive, abundant, and sustainable energy sources for the future. The future energy supply of the world is such a crucial challenge that all options should be considered, with the goal of choosing what will turn out to be the best solution in the end.

Keywords

Thorium Accelerator-driven systems ADS iThEC Nuclear waste 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank all my iThEC and INR colleagues. Without their contributions and enthusiasm, none of the projects described here would have been possible.

References

  1. 1.
    iThEC’s Web page: www.ithec.org
  2. 2.
    S. Andriamonje et al., Experimental determination of the energy generated in nuclear cascades by a high energy beam. Phys. Lett. B 348, 697–709 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    A. Abánades et al., Results from the TARC experiment: spallation neutron phenomenology in lead and neutron-driven nuclear transmutation by adiabatic resonance crossing. Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A 478, 577–730 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    F. Gunsing, Nuclear Data for the Thorium Fuel Cycle and Transmutation, in Thorium Energy for the World, ThEC13 Proceedings of CERN Globe of Science and Innovation, Geneva, Switzerland, 27–31 Oct 2013 (Springer, 2016)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    GBD MAPS Working Group, Burden of Disease Attributable to Coal-Burning and Other Air Pollution Sources in China (Tsinghua University Report, 2016)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
    C. Rubbia, A Future for Thorium Power?, in Thorium Energy for the World, in ThEC13 Proceedings of CERN Globe of Science and Innovation, Geneva, Switzerland, 27–31 Oct 2013 (Springer, 2016)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Data taken from “Uranium 2014: Resources, Production and Demand”, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and the International Atomic Energy AgencyGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    C. Rubbia; et al., Conceptual Design of a Fast Neutron Operated High Power Energy Amplifier, CERN/AT/95-44 (ET), 29 Sept. 1995; see also Rubbia, C. A High Gain Energy Amplifier Operated with Fast Neutrons, AIP Conference Proceeding 346, International Conference on ADT Technologies and Applications, Las Vegas (1994)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    J.-P. Revol, Accelerator-Driven Systems (ADS) Physics and Motivation, in Thorium Energy for the World, ThEC13 Proceedings of CERN Globe of Science and Innovation, Geneva, Switzerland, October 27–31 2013 (Springer, 2016)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Generation IV nuclear energy systems, see: www.ne.anl.gov/research/genIV
  12. 12.
    H. Aït Abderrahim, MYRRHA: A Flexible and Fast Spectrum Irradiation Facility, in Thorium Energy for the World, ThEC13 Proceedings of CERN Globe of Science and Innovation, Geneva, Switzerland, 27–31 Oct 2013 (Springer 2016)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    P. Luo, S.C. Wang, Z.G. Hu, H.S. Xu, W.L. Zhan, Accelerator driven sub-critical systems—a promising solution for cycling nuclear fuel, Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, 730000, China.  https://doi.org/10.7693/wl20160903
  14. 14.
    Y. Gohar, I. Bolshinsky, D. Naberezhnev et al., Accelerator driven sub-critical facility: conceptual design development. Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. A. 562, 870–874 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    S.F. Sidorkin, A.D. Rogov, L.I. Ponomarev, E.A. Koptelov, Proposal of the ADS Research Stand Based on the Linac of the Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in Thorium Energy for the World, ThEC13 Proceedings of CERN Globe of Science and Innovation, Geneva, Switzerland, 27–31 Oct 2013 (Springer 2016)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    M. Conjat, J. Mandrillon, P. Mandrillon, Cyclotron Drivers for Accelerator-Driven Systems, AIMA DEVELOPPEMENT Company, in Thorium Energy for the World, ThEC13 Proceedings of CERN Globe of Science and Innovation, Geneva, Switzerland, 27–31 Oct 2013 (Springer 2016)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.international Thorium Energy Committee (iThEC)GenevaSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations