Thor Energy - thorium fuel a viable option to uranium
|Named for the Norse god of thunder, thorium is a lustrous silvery-white metal. It’s only slightly radioactive. |
Thor Energy AS is a technology company developing nuclear fuel technology based on thorium as raw material as an alternative to uranium. The Company has evaluated the possibility of exploiting Norway's thorium resources (or other thorium sources) for the production of nuclear power in the international market.
Thor Energy has developed an advanced thorium based oxide fuel and has established a consortium that finances and ensures the implementation of a five year irradiation project with the objective to qualify thorium fuel for use in existing and future generations light water reactors. The project is conducted in close cooperation with the Norwegian Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) in Halden, Norway. A specially designed rig with six fuel rods containing different varieties of thorium fuel was loaded into the reactor in April 2013 and the five year irradiation project is now running according to plan.
|The thorium fuel rig was loaded into the OECD Halden reactor in April 2013. Here, a pleased CEO Øystein Asphjell, is overseeing the loading process. |
Prior to the irradiation project, Thor Energy completed a comprehensive feasibility study on the thorium fuel cycle. The study concluded that thorium is an excellent nuclear fuel material and that it has a series of advantages over traditional uranium fuel. Advantages include that thorium is readily available in much larger quantities than uranium, a thorium cycle produces less waste and the waste has significantly shorter storage requirements, and higher proliferation resistance than the Uranium cycle.
Thor Energy's largest shareholder is Thor Corporation, a holding company that also owns stakes in other companies with activities related to thorium fuels, such as mining and separation of rare earth elements ( REE ). Fen Minerals has extensive muting rights in the Fen complex containing large deposits of thorium and rare earth elements (REE), while Norwegian Separation Technology is a company that develops a new method for efficient separation of REE.