Research into thorium reactor is turned down

Experts have advised the European Commission not to fund research into Professor Carlo Rubbia’s plan for a nuclear reactor that consumes radioactive waste. The working group of Euratom’s Scientific and Technical Committee that evaluated the professor’s proposal for a thorium-based reactor said its development would involve ‘new technologies for almost every aspect of nuclear electricity […]

Experts have advised the European Commission not to fund research into Professor Carlo Rubbia’s plan for a nuclear reactor that consumes radioactive waste.

The working group of Euratom’s Scientific and Technical Committee that evaluated the professor’s proposal for a thorium-based reactor said its development would involve ‘new technologies for almost every aspect of nuclear electricity production’ and would almost certainly cost ‘tens of billions of ecus’.

The group, chaired by Derek Pooley, UKAEA chief executive, said it was not wise to take on all these risks at once.

It suggested that elements of the plan, such as studies on thorium fuels, could be added to other commission research programmes.