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Department of Atomic Energy10-August, 2011 17:36 IST
Availability of Thorium
Sufficient quantity of thorium reserves are available in the country which has the potential to serve as feedstock for an ambitious nuclear power programme.

The atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a constituent of Department of Atomic Energy has established the presence of 10.70 million tonnes of Monazite in the country, which contains 9,63,000 tonnes of Thorium Oxide (ThO2). India Monazite contains about 9-10% of ThO2 and about 8,46,477 tonnes of thorium Metal can be obtained from 9,63,000 tonnes of ThO2 which will be used for future programmes of DAE.

India is pursuing a three-stage nuclear power generation programme aimed at long term energy independence based on use of our abundant Thorium resources. The programme is to use Thorium for electricity generation in the long-term. In order to realize this goal, we are well into the first stage based on our modest domestic uranium resources. This will be followed by second stage comprising of fast reactors. It is proposed to set up a large power generation capacity based on fast reactors before getting into the third stage. Thorium in itself cannot produce electricity and it has to be first converted to Uranium-233 in a nuclear reactor. A comprehensive three-stage nuclear power programme is therefore being implemented sequentially.

Shri V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions and in the Prime Minister’s Office gave this information in a written reply to a question by Adv. Ganeshrao Dudhgaonkar in Lok Sabha today.

KP
(Release ID :74293)

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