The Origins of Thorium, its Promises and Problems

Dr. J. Stephen Herring
Deputy Division Director for Nuclear Systems Design and Analysis
Idaho National Laboratory
There is continuing interest in the use of thorium as a nuclear fuel, brought about by its higher abundance, lower production of long-lived actinides and robustness as a fuel and waste form.  Set against these advantages are the necessity for reprocessing, the difficulty in reprocessing and fundamental differences in thorium geochemistry vis a vis uranium.  This seminar will describe the nucleosynthetic processes for U and Th production in supernovae, compare their transport in the crust and mantle and geoneutrino evidence for their overall abundances.  The characteristics of Th and U as nuclear fuels will then be compared.

Link to Presentation Slides