Evening Lecture – Thorium fuel
Thorium has recently been presented in the press as “the green future of nuclear” and it might seem as if thorium based fuel cycles are a recent breakthrough that remained overlooked for decades. Actually, this is not the case: research on thorium as a possible alternative resource for nuclear energy applications has a long history and it is hardly possible to account for all of the accomplishments achieved over more than five decades of research on thorium fuel cycles.
In this presentation, a brief summary will be given of the historic Light Water Reactor thorium fuel research. Since fifteen years, quite some research has also been conducted by SCK•CEN and this will also be reviewed. An outlook of the research in this domain as well as some thoughts on the possible implementation of a thorium-based fuel cycle will be discussed.
Marc VerwerftGroup Leader Fuel Materials at SCK•CEN
Dr. Marc Verwerft graduated in physics at the University of Antwerp in 1987 and obtained his PhD as fellow of the FWO on “Modulated phases in ceramics” in 1991. After his military service, he joined the University of Groningen as lecturer from 1992 to 1994. Since 1994, he is researcher at SCK•CEN where he first headed the microstructure research group and is now head of the fuel materials group. Apart from more fundamental research, he coordinated several international research projects on nuclear fuel amongst which two successive EU framework projects on thorium-based MOX.