Factors in thorium fuel adoption
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The purpose of this study is to determine whether the United States government should support the research, development, and implementation of thorium‐based nuclear reactors as a primary supplier of electricity for the nation. The conclusions are based on an analysis of the social, economic, and political environment surrounding nuclear energy in the US in comparison with other countries pursuing thorium reactor development programs. The conclusions allow for a set of policy actions based on the results of the qualitative analysis. This project adopts a qualitative methodology that combines historical and comparative analysis. It includes a historical overview of nuclear power technology in the US, a cost‐benefit analysis of thorium reactor technology in comparison with conventional and other proposed next‐generation reactors. The social, political, and economic context in the US will has been analyzed with that of four countries— France, Japan, India, and Brazil—that are pursuing thorium reactor development to determine whether conditions in the US favor a strategy for continuing to develop and deploy thorium reactor technology. Historical, political, and technical documents were reviewed to reach a determination.
- MA in Policy Studies