Nuke deal

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

with a view to curbing the spread of Russian nuclear technology to other countries, the us department of energy will be funding the development of a new nuclear reactor design at the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow. The us will provide a new technology that makes use of radioactive thorium instead of uranium as fuel in reactors for producing electricity. The new techno-logy does not produce hazardous plutonium as a byproduct.

Thorium has another advantage in that it reduces heat emission and the quantity, toxicity and radioactivity of nuclear waste. The technology has been developed by Alvin Radkowsky of Tel Aviv University who has been granted a patent by the us patent office for a non-proliferative light water thorium reactor, also known as a Radkowsky thorium reactor.

Every year, about 70 tonnes of plutonium are produced collectively by 400 commercial light water reactors across the world. A nuclear bomb can be produced with only four kilogram of plutonium.

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