Thorium cycles and proliferation

Lovins, Amory H.
February 1979
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists;Feb1979, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p16
The article presents the paper analyzing several misconceptions regarding nuclear fuel cycles that breed fissile uranium-233 from thorium. The paper concludes that Uranium-233 is an attractive material for making fission bombs and is a credible material for the use of subnational and national groups. It suggests that the denatured thorium-uranium cycles are not effective safeguards against subnational bomb-making and that other features of mixed thorium-uranium cycles are unattractive from a safeguards point of view. Thorium cycles cannot provide major savings in nuclear fuel resources even though they are known to have some potential technical advantages.


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